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City Council Committee on Finance Subject Matter Hearing Updates 12/2/2022

Chicago Municipal Depositories and Mortgage Lending

Workers Compensation Program

Yesterday, the City Council Committee on Finance held a subject matter hearing on municipal depositories and mortgages, as well as on the City’s Worker’s Compensation program. Several members of the public and members of housing and finance organizations testified on the state of municipal depositories and mortgages, including City Comptroller Reshma Soni, Woodstock Institute’s Horacio Mendez, Neighborhood Housing Services Anthony Simpkins, and Ben Jackson from Illinois Banker’s Association.

The RFP process was modified last year to create more transparency while consolidating information from bank applicants. Since taking on the task of reforming the RFP process for municipal depository banks, our Committee has worked together with the Dept. of Finance, Housing Committee and Treasurer’s Office to modify the process and allow for more opportunities for smaller banks to participate. Last year, our Committee worked to create a more transparent evaluation process and joint review team, and a separate review team including the State Treasurer and banking institutions that are working to promote more equitable lending opportunities throughout all the communities within Chicago. Each applicant bank’s overall financial state is reviewed in the process and through these changes to the system, the City is actively supporting greater social equity and fairness in lending and municipal deposit lenders.

On Workers Compensation, City Comptroller Reshma Soni gave a brief summary on the state of the program and changes in policy. One note during the hearing was the open number of claims from the previous year, not related to COVID-19, but resulting from the on-going review of hundreds of claims the Committee on Finance (“COF”) closed when

it handled the Program. The summary report provides information on return-to-work, litigation management, and financial reserves. The Committee on Finance no longer manages the day-to-day Workers Compensation program. After lengthy debate in the Council to create transparency in workers compensation, the program was transferred to the Department of Finance in order to adhere to best financial practices for municipalities.

Upcoming Committee Meetings Schedule - Most meetings are back in the City Council chambers but check each meeting for location or remote status.

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