Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s outgoing mayor who will be leaving office in May of 2019, wants to not only legalize marijuana recreationally but also open a casino.

The mayor will be proposing both measures in a major address this week, according to a source, who was not authorized to speak publicly before the mayor’s address.

“In 2020, just around the corner, the city will need another $276 million in new revenue to pay for higher Police and Fire pension contributions. In 2022, (the need for) new revenue for the municipal and laborers’ funds is projected to increase by $310 million,” Emanuel is expected to say.
“These contributions must be made,” Emanuel says in excerpts of his speech released by his office. “There are no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. While there is no single solution to this challenge, I believe there are sequential steps we can take to keep moving the ball down the field. And I believe those steps must be based on progressive principles.”

Too many people look at our pension obligation through green eyeshade — in terms of dollars and cents. That is just one way to see it, but it is not the whole picture. The other is in terms of our principles and priorities,” reads Emanuel’s prepared speech. “That is why I am also for amending the clause added to the constitution in 1970 that caused the Supreme Court to shoot down our initial agreements with labor.”

“Think about it. What kind of progressive, sustainable system guarantees retirees 3 percent annual compounded pay increases when inflation has been at basically zero and current employees have at times been furloughed, laid off or received 1 percent raises?” Emanuel is expected to say in the speech.

He adds, “There is nothing progressive about 3 percent compounded raises for retirees and furloughs for workers. The mantle of progressivity must not just be more taxes on the wealthy, it must be more respect for our workers’ paychecks. I applaud our labor unions for being willing to fix this inequity in 2012 with me.”


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