Office of Public Safety Administration

The Office of Public Safety Administration was created during the 2020 budget cycle to save costs and eliminate redundancies by consolidating non-uniformed public safety roles.

A Better Government Association analysis of the first three years of PSA budgets found that combined public safety budgets increased rather than decreased for appropriations categories taken on by PSA, with the modest savings from eliminated positions more than wiped out by the overhead costs of operating a new, standalone department:

Change Highlights and Context

Non-personnel overhead costs, which in previous years significantly outweighed any public safety savings from eliminated positions, are once again driving the bulk of PSA’s budget increase, including million-dollar-plus increases in multiple appropriation accounts. The city’s other emergency departments did not see equivalent reductions in those appropriation accounts, as shown below:

  • Mobile Communications Services, up $3.2 million (57.7%) to a total of $8.7 million in 2023
    • CFD – flat
    • OEMC – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
    • CPD – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
  • Repair Parts and Materials, up $2.9 million (609.1%) to a total of $3.3 million
    • CFD – increased
    • OEMC – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
    • CPD – up $37.9k
  • Software Maintenance and Licensing, up $2.5 million (21.2%) to a total of $14.3 million
    • CFD – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
    • OEMC – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
    • CPD – up $19.9k
  • IT Development, up $2.3 million (19.8%) to a total of $14 million
    • CFD – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
    • OEMC – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
    • CPD – flat (not a category in 2022 or 2023)
  • Repair/Maintain Equipment, up $2 million (363.1%) to a total of $2.6 million
    • CFD – down $250k
    • OEMC – up $6.4k
    • CPD – up $116.8k

Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

BACP handles the city’s business licensing and enforces business, labor, and consumer protection laws, including oversight of the city’s rideshare, short-term housing rental, and mobility device (scooters etc.) regulations.

Change Highlights and Context

  • BACP’s budget increase is driven by a dramatic increase in the Delegate Agency appropriation account, up from $4.3 million in 2022 to $43 million in 2023. The delegate agencies category covers pass-through and grant funding to third-party agencies that provide direct services. The budget does not break out delegate agency funding by contract, vendor, or purpose, so it’s unclear from the budget proposal what new outside grant funding or other delegation of services the new appropriation is intended for.
  • BACP is listed in the Recovery Plan Exhibit as the parent department for two of the city’s Chicago Recovery Plan pandemic relief programs, detailed below. BACP’s Recovery Plan programs were budgeted using American Rescue Plan investment funds and proceeds from general obligation bonds. The 2023 budget does not include ARP funding for BACP, meaning it is unclear which BACP Recovery Plan programs were fully funded for their entire lifespan in the 2022 budget, which will continue to be funded in 2023 (and with what funding), and which will not continue in 2023.
  • BACP’s budget includes a new Assistant Commissioner position, part of a citywide increase in upper management positions. Across all departments, taking into account the various assistant/deputy/managing title variants, the 2023 budget adds 45 new Director or Commissioner positions.

Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

Change Highlights and Context

  • The largest budget increases at MOPD come from the Delegate Agencies and Professional and Technical Services appropriations accounts, both of which are outside contracting categories:
    • Delegate Agencies – up $510,275 (22.6%) to a total of $2.8 million
    • Professional and Technical Services – up $456,558 (28.1%) to a total of $2.1 million
  • MOPD’s staffing increase is largely driven by the addition of four Career Placement Counselor positions, a new position in this year’s budget. The department has also doubled its budgeted complement of American Sign Language interpreters, up from two positions to four.

Geoffrey Cubbage is a policy and budget analyst focusing on the Illinois General Assembly and Chicago's City Council. Prior to joining the Better Government Association in 2022, Geoffrey served as Director...