CHICAGO
11/15/2012 02:40 pm ET Updated Nov 15, 2012

Chicago Budget Approved By City Council by Vote Of 46-3, Sandi Jackson Misses Vote

Chicago's City Council moved Thursday morning to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's $6.5 billion budget by a nearly unanimous vote of 46-3.

The budget -- unlike last year's unanimously-approved budget -- institutes no new taxes but relies on fuzzy revenue projections, per the concerns of the council's three "no" votes: Aldermen Robert Fioretti (2nd), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and John Arena (45th), according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) was absent from the key vote, which took place two days after husband U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s release from the Mayo Clinic, CBS Chicago notes. Sandi spoke briefly with WGN Wednesday evening, but was mum on any details of the allegations facing her husband.

The budget includes ramped-up graffiti scrubbing and weed whacking, plus some $9 million in early childhood education, after-school programs and jobs and domestic violence programs, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The new budget also is set to keep pace with attrition in the city's police force, though some aldermen argued that the Chicago Police Department still needs additional resources amid the city's increased murder rate.

"Where are our priorities for our police department?" Fioretti told the Tribune Thursday.

The budget also includes 275 job cuts, largely of already vacant positions, NBC Chicago reports, and was balanced on projections of continued economic improvement and increased income and hotel tax revenue, according to the Associated Press.

The city's new budget was approved without any public hearings -- at least not any of which were attended by Emanuel, though members of the council's Progressive Caucus held a series of three hearings.

Prior to their approval of the city's 2013 budget, 28 members of the City Council signed a resolution calling for the state legislature to allow undocumented Illinoisans to apply for drivers licenses.

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