East St. Louis leaders have few options in financial crisis

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Officials grappling with East St. Louis’ financial troubles say they’re trying to arrange loans, get the state to pay up and find other sources of cash just to make it into the new year without layoffs and delayed paychecks. Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks and other city leaders held a news conference Friday to outline their options. A budget to be presented Monday anticipates a $5.9 million deficit next year. City Manager Alvin Parks said it’s possible the city will have to delay paychecks for employees. Treasurer Charlotte Moore said bank loans aren’t an option until a new audit of city finances is finished early next year. An end to the state’s budget impasse could provide stopgap funding by releasing more than $2 million in gambling revenues owed to the city.