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Cook County Budget

The annual County budget should be made available to the public in a user-friendly form before passage. I will continue to advocate that this essential document be made more easily available. 

Annually Commissioner Suffredin returns dollars to the general fund. Amounts returned to the general fund in previous years are:

2019- $62,951
2018- $45,311
2017- $15,039
2016- $33,292
2015 - $37,184
2014 - $15,187
2013 - $19,817
2012 –$40,994

 

Click here for the 2021 Cook County budget.

Click here for the 2020 budget

Click here for previous Cook County budgets.

A “Yes” Vote For 2021 Cook County Budget

Good Financial Management Saves the Need for Tax Increases in a Pandemic Budget

 

On November 24, 2020, I voted “Yes” for President Toni Preckwinkle’s $6.9 Billion 2021 Cook County budget which did not raise taxes, used Reserves from an established rainy day fund; and took advantage of good management to cover all essential services. In this COVID period, extraordinary management is necessary to lead a government Cook County’s size. Of all the large governments in Illinois Cook County is in the best position to survive in this pandemic world because of its financial management.

This budget continues our funding of additional pension payments which have stabilized our Cook County bond ratings and given us the best funded and most stable large public pension fund in the State.

This budget responds to requests from Black Lives Matter activists and others to increase social services and reduce the Sheriff’s budget. The voices that were heard at public hearings and in individual emails and letters also helped stabilized the Health Care budget.

For the third year there are no home rule tax increases included in this budget. Cook County has not raised Property Taxes since 1994.

This budget was crafted to maximize services and protect taxpayers from unfair taxation. It is also the result of serious budgeting decisions that have been made over the last 4 years that focused on cost savings.

This budget allows our Cook County Health and Hospital System to meet the pandemic and respond to changing patient needs. On December 1 when this budget takes effect, Israel Rocha, will become the President and CEO of our Health Care System. He will bring a new energy and vision that will help us improve our care and finances as we face the COVID challenges. His leadership will shape future Health Care budgets and be a sea change for our System.

The Cook County Chief Circuit Judge and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Offices are given additional resources to expand our pre-trial services and help reduce our overall costs of maintaining the criminal justice system while protecting the safety of our residents.

This budget includes changes to the Budget Resolution that will give the County Board greater flexibility to appropriate any financial relief the Federal Government may give us during the pandemic. We will be able to prioritize the spending of these new resources and thus eliminate the need for any future tax increases.

Last year I stated that, “The County’s financial future is dependent on better planning and continued anticipation of changes needed to deliver more efficient services”. Our planning has made us able weather the pandemic challenges of today; and to be better prepared to deal with the challenges of the future.

 

 

A “Yes” Vote For the 2020 Cook County Budget

On November 21, 2019, I voted “yes” on the 2020 Cook County budget as a reasonable approach to protecting key services. There were no issues or controversies surrounding this budget.

For the second year, there are no tax increases included in this budget. This budget was crafted to maximize services and protect taxpayers from unfair taxation. It is also the result of serious budgeting decisions that have been made over the last three years that focused on cost savings.

The 2020 budget provides essential services with appropriate revenues including one-time revenues from a City of Chicago TIF surplus, and increased earned income from the Cook County Health and Hospital System and the CountyCare Insurance program for Medicaid recipients.

This budget allows our Cook County Health and Hospital System to meet changing patient needs through better planning by the Independent Board and better use of Public Health resources including continued funding of both Access to Care and the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The Cook County Chief Circuit Judge and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Offices are given additional staff to expand our pre-trial services and help reduce our overall costs of maintaining the criminal justice system. Both the Cook County Board of Review and Cook County Assessor are given additional staff positions that should increase the efficiency of the assessment process and give the public confidence in the fairness of their assessments. Many of these new jobs will generate revenue for future budgets.

This budget includes the $350 million extra pension payment the County established three years ago. Our pensions are among the most stable in Illinois, but they will continue to need this extra payment to stay strong. This payment protects our taxpayers from the pension shock other local governments are facing.

The County’s financial future is dependent on better planning and continued anticipation of changes needed to deliver more efficient services. To continue this type of budget for the future, the County Board will have to aggressively review the implementation of the budget and challenge County staff to perform more efficiently.

 

A "Yes" Vote For 2019 Cook County Budget

On November 15, 2018, I voted yes on the 2019 Cook County budget as a reasonable approach to protecting key services. There are no tax increases included in this budget.

A year ago, I voted for a budget that was negotiated to meet a serious revenue shortfall while still providing essential services. The 2019 Budget solves the revenue shortfall with significant one-time revenues from a City of Chicago TIF surplus; and increased earned income from the Cook County Health and Hospital System.

This budget allows our Cook County Health and Hospital System to meet changing patient needs through better planning by the Independent Board and better use of Public Health resources including Access to Care and the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The Cook County State’s Attorney; Cook County Board of Review, Cook County Assessor, Cook County Sheriff and other offices are given additional staff positions that should be revenue generating for future budgets.

This budget protects the $350 million extra pension payment the County established 3 years ago. Our pensions are among the most stable in Illinois, but they will continue to need extra payments to stay strong.

The future will now be dependent upon better planning and continued suggestions from our residents.

Past Budget Statements

2018 Statement on the Cook County Budget

2017 Statement on the Cook County Budget

2016 Statement on the Cook County Budget

2015 Statement on the Cook County Budget

 

Other Budget Issues

Statement on the repeal of the Sweetened Beverage Tax

Statement on the passage of the Sweetened Beverage Tax

Statement on passage of the minimum wage ordinance

Statement on repealing the sales tax increase

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