Oct 11, 2023 - News

What's in Mayor Brandon Johnson's 2024 budget proposal

Photo illustration of Brandon Johnson with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Mayor Brandon Johnson wants to boost spending on mental health services, youth jobs and new police positions while also resurrecting the Department of the Environment as part of his $16.6 billion proposed budget for next year.

Why it matters: Despite a $538 million deficit, Johnson's proposal delivers on some key campaign promises, while avoiding property tax hikes and other fees.

What they're saying: "We will not repeat the failures of the past by spending money we do not have and bankrupting our future," Johnson said during Wednesday's budget address.

  • "We also have relied too long on a tax structure that heavily burdens our lowest-income residents and is too reliant on property taxes, fees and fines."

By the numbers: The budget proposal would:

  • Double the number of staffers on the city's non-police 911 responder teams.
  • Direct more than $250 million for homelessness services.
  • Allocate $25 million for climate initiatives including decarbonization and composting.
  • Invest $76 million in youth summer jobs, adding 4,000 positions.
  • Reopen two city-run mental health clinics.
  • Fund 100 additional detective positions in the Chicago Police Department.
  • Add 400 new civilian CPD positions to aid and support officers.
  • Make $307 million in supplemental pension payments.
  • Devote $53 million to removing lead water lines.

Between the lines: To balance the budget, Johnson wants to use $434 million in Tax Increment Financing funds — $39 million more than the city used last year.

  • He's also counting on "improved revenue projections of $321 million" and $253 million in savings through operational efficiencies, "better management of health care," and bond refinancing.

Of note: Johnson acknowledged the challenges of the city's "unprecedented escalating wave of migration," but said, "I don't flinch in the face of challenges, and neither does the city of Chicago."

  • In addition to seeking more state and federal funding for migrants, Johnson says he wants to renegotiate "expensive" food and staffing contracts he inherited to include more local businesses.

What's next: The City Council Budget Committee will start hearings on the plan on Monday.


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