Chicago faces a “significantly reduced,” but still sizable, $733 million budget shortfall in 2022 because of the “lasting and continuing impacts” of the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot disclosed Wednesday.
“While we still have hard work ahead of us in order to close this gap, this figure is a great indication that our city is fiscally bouncing back from this crisis,” Lightfoot said in a news release.
“Last year, we were faced with a $1.2 billion pandemic budget. This year, we have shifted to a recovery budget that not only reflects the challenges … but the number of resources we’ve brought to bear to address them.”
The shortfall will be eliminated by refinancing outstanding debt at reduced interest rates, using the $1.9 billion avalanche of federal stimulus funds on its way to Chicago and “as always, looking to create governmental efficiencies,” the news release states.
Already, the city has used $800 million in federal stimulus funds to support hard-hit small businesses and provide a safety net of assistance for housing, food, homeless services and mental health and cover the salaries of police officers, firefighters and other first responders.