Suffredin- Changing County Government  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions


  Office phone numbers:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Devine says budget cuts unsafe

Saturday, January 27, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman Staff writer

Prosecutors might be forced to cut plea deals with criminals, and felony trials will slow to a crawl if proposed cuts go through Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine warned Friday.
To a room packed with prosecutors and sympathetic county commissioners, Devine testified in a budget hearing that he could not forge a compromise with board President Todd Stroger's budget team and needs at least another $6 million to run his office.
"We are in a process of cuts that, I believe, jeopardize public safety," Devine said. "Unless we have a fair and effective justice system, we can't say we have a community."
Several commissioners said they wanted to work with Devine to put some money back into his budget.
Devine got a 10 percent cut in his general fund budget in Stroger's 2007 proposal. Combined with money generated by drug forfeitures and from grants, Devine would get $90.4 million in Stroger's 2007 budget proposal.
Like other department heads, Devine said Stroger's insistence on closing the budget gap without increasing taxes has taken precedence over providing basic service.
Fewer prosecutors will mean slower trials and more cases for already overloaded prosecutors, Devine said. The office's drug diversion program, which allows people charged with nonviolent drug possession crimes to undergo counseling instead of prosecution, will be cut.
Unlike other county budgets, Devine's budget is not broken down by facility. Devine did not say exactly who or where he will cut, so it's unknown how many prosecutors would be laid off from the Bridgeview and Markham courthouses.
Stroger's budget calls for at least $1.3 million in cuts through use of four unpaid furlough days for all employees, but Devine rejected it Friday, saying prosecutors already have been asked to forego cost-of-living pay increases for two years running.
Prosecutors, who are not unionized, also lag behind the unionized public defenders in pay, Devine said. Failing to fix those two issues for the third year running will prompt many more-experienced prosecutors to leave for greener pastures.
"We will lose the assistant (state's attorneys) who try the toughest cases," Devine said, citing, among others, the prosecution of serial killer Paul Runge.
Commissioners said they agreed with Devine that some of the proposed cuts were irresponsible and asked Devine to make a priority list of what he'd like to see added back into the budget if commissioners can find the money.
Pete Silvestri (R-Elmwood Park), in comments praised by several other commissioners, said he didn't think the state's attorney's office should be held to the same level of cuts as other agencies.
"Even our own administrators say there are things at the bureau of health that can be changed, that can eliminated," Silvestri said. "There's been no showing that the way we run a prosecutor's office is a problem. ... That you're guilty of waste, of not collecting revenues."
Devine said the comments were welcome after he and Stroger reached an impasse in budget negotiations. Devine said he offered to cut $10 million from his original proposed budget -- which was higher than last year's budget -- and Stroger asked for more.
"I was encouraged that the finance committee seems to be very involved and are not just accepting some of these things," Devine said after the hearing.

Recent Headlines

Records falsified in Metra work logs
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County approves road projects for upcoming years
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Northwest Indiana Times

Palatine, County Forest Preserve To Partner Up
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Palatine Journal Online

Man dies following beating at Cook County Jail
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health Board selects new leaders
Friday, July 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

The PrivateBank pledges $10 million to the Cook County Land Bank
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board adds two questions to packed fall ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County to cut buildings' carbon emissions
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Fox 32 Chicago

Cook County Board sends assault weapons referendum to the ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County mulls fund-of-funds investment, other changes
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Pensions & Investments

Forest Preserves of Cook County to get expertise, guidance from new Policy Council
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Special to

Preserves and parks offering memorial trees and benches for a price
Monday, July 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Community leaders, sheriff aim to help mentally ill inmates
Monday, July 21, 2014
FOX 32 Chicago

TIF Revenue Down 2 Percent in Suburban Cook Co.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Palatine Patch

Recorder of Deeds staffers accused of political motive in firing
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sheriff's department will focus on catching people wanted on arrest warrants
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

An unwelcome surprise from the Cook County health system
Monday, July 14, 2014
Chicago Tribune

New Cook County Health CEO must find millions in savings - stat
Monday, July 14, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Fitch cuts rating on Cook County
Saturday, July 12, 2014

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.