Evanston asks Illinois governor to protect city funds

Sophia Bollag, Managing Editor

Aldermen unanimously expressed their opposition Monday to a proposal by the governor that would force Evanston to cut expenses by more than 4 percent.

In February, Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed a budget that would halve the Local Government Distributive Fund, which gives money to local governments throughout the state.

The proposal would cut $3.75 million from Evanston’s budget. In a memo to the City Council, the city manager’s office said the reduction would force the city to consider several cost-cutting measures, including laying off more than 40 employees, reducing services or raising taxes.

The aldermen approved a resolution asking Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly not to cut the funding. The resolution will be sent to the governor and Evanston’s representatives in the General Assembly.

Aldermen also unanimously approved 4th Ward Ald. Don Wilson’s suggestion to add a sentence to the resolution saying “a reduction in the LGDF would place an undue burden on the city to address the state’s budget challenges.”

“That’s really what it is,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to address an unfair burden being placed on us.”

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said she would relay the council’s misgivings about the proposal when she and a group from the Northwest Municipal Conference meet with Rauner on Tuesday.

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