Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson travels to Springfield, Illinois to fight for $1B he says city owed in state funds


CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson was down in Springfield Wednesday. He’s fighting for $1 billion that he says Chicago is owed in state funds.

Johnson arrived with members of his team early Wednesday afternoon.

“In a few hours, I’m gonna have conversations with multiple individuals. And after those conversations, I’m more than happy to talk,” Johnson said at the time.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson spoke in Springfield Wednesday.

The mayor’s first stop was at the offices of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, where he held meetings with some lawmakers. But the speaker’s meeting was set for later in the afternoon.

One of the mayor’s priorities is advocating for additional funding for Chicago Public Schools: something a number of lawmakers privately scoffed at. It comes at a time when the city is about to begin negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union on a new contract.

SEE ALSO: CTU contract negotiations start with union delivering demands to Chicago Public Schools officials

“But if he wants to help me to make sure that more money gets into Chicago Public Schools, and, again, he would join me in asking for an additional $200 million into the school funding formula, which would increase it to $550 million,” said state Rep. Will Davis, chair of the Appropriations Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Chicago Black Aldermanic Caucus was also in Springfield on an unrelated, previously scheduled trip to meet with members of the Legislative Black Caucus. They were also advocating for Chicago.

Infrastructure to help address the underlying problems that contributed to the widespread flooding on Chicago’s West Side last summer was on their agenda.

“So, we’re looking at infrastructure dollars not only to expand the sewers, and to come up with the reservoir situation, but also to deal with the operational issues that our residents were faced with. Some still have mold in their basement. Some still have not recovered from the flood of last year,” 28th Ward Ald. Jason Ervin said.

Some lawmakers said they are just glad to have the mayor in Springfield, collaborating with them on solutions.

“The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right? If you don’t know what the ask is, you can’t, in a collaborative manner, try to produce it,” 27th District state Rep. Justin Slaughter said.

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