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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot is considering cutting city jobs in an effort to fill the massive $1.2 billion budget deficit.

The mayor is calling her plan the “pandemic budget” and says this could be the toughest vote city council may have to take.

The Chicago Tribune reports the city is considering a mix of layoffs and furloughs to cut costs by up to $200 million.

Lightfoot has said “all options are on the table,” but that property taxes and job cuts are last on her list.

However, cutting city jobs and possible layoffs could be part of the solution to fixing the budget issues.

Lightfoot also pointed to the economic collapse due to COVID-19, and damage to local businesses from civil unrest as cause for the shortfall.

Lightfoot delayed releasing her budget plan hoping Congress would pass a stimulus bill that could send more funding to the city, but now she says she doesn’t think that will happen in time.

The mayor says this budget planning process has been especially frustrating for her.

“Every single meeting has been painful. Every single one. Every single one thinking about the hardships that our residents are going to have to endure, particularly, our personnel. I feel every single one of those painful choices,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot’s budget plan is expected to be heard by City Council on Oct. 21.

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