CHICAGO — Chicago could shore up its balance sheet by cutting employees, reducing future retirement benefits, slicing the City Council in half, and resurrecting efforts to lease Midway Airport, according to a new report from a Chicago-based government research group.

The Civic Federation’s 115-page report outlining 40 recommended reforms to be implemented throughout city government over the next three years comes as new Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s finance team faces an estimated $600 million to $700 million deficit in its more than $6 billion budget and a $1 billion ongoing structural  deficit.

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