CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he will present his budget plan to the City Council a month early this year, to help deal with the city's pension mess.
Facing a $1 billion shortfall in its operating budget, and a combined $20 billion pension deficit, the mayor said he'll introduce his budget to the City Council in September, instead of October, so aldermen can give him their ideas for confronting the crisis.
"I think it's important for the city of Chicago to seize the moment, and – as best it can – determine its own future, and not have it held somewhat by Springfield, and their inaction," he said.
Emanuel said he welcomes any and all practical ideas.
"There's places to find additional savings, and I encourage everybody to make sure that they bring forth serious ideas. Look under the pillow on the couch, find the last quarter, everything that you need to do, and I've instructed a number of aldermen – I've instructed all of them – bring forth your ideas. You want to present an entire budget? I welcome it," the mayor said.
He also was hoping to hear soon from the Illinois Supreme Court, which will decide if his current pension agreements with municipal employees and laborers are constitutional.
The state's highest court already has struck down a major pension overhaul approved by state lawmakers, in an effort to shore up the state's severely underfunded employee pension funds. Since then, Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been locked in a stalemate over the state's budget crisis.
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