Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

County asks if voters back drug and alcohol treatment

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Pioneer Press

An advisory referendum that calls for increased state funding of alcohol and drug abuse programs will appear on Cook County ballots Tuesday, though Citizens Activated to Challenge Healthcare, a coalition of 67 agencies, failed to collect enough signatures to put the question before every Illinois voter.

Sara Moscato, of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, said more than 100,000 signatures were collected during a nine-month period, though the number was short of the 300,000 needed to place the referendum on ballots in every Illinois precinct.

The coalition calls the ballot question the "treatment on demand initiative," to provide state residents greater access to substance abuse treatment regardless of their economic status.

Proponents of the initiative say a positive response from Cook County voters would go a long way toward the creation of a pro-active state program offering treatment for the 1.5 million Illinois residents that were denied the option last year because they couldn't afford it.

Moscato said during the fiscal year 2004, 90,000 residents received treatment for drug and alcohol addictions at a cost of $159 million to the state.

Treatment on demand would "ensure that there'd be enough state funding to provide addicts with an adequate level of care," she said. "Right now, there isn't enough funding."

In June, the County Board unanimously passed a resolution placing the advisory referendum on the November ballot, said Cass Cliatt, a spokesman for Cook County Clerk David Orr's office.

Traditionally, such nonbinding advisory referendums are used as political tools to gauge the public's interest in a particular matter.

Congressman Danny Davis, D-7th, is among those who pushed to put the question on the ballot. He argues it's less costly to treat addicts than to convict and incarcerate them.

It's estimated that drugs and alcohol contribute to the jailing of 80 percent of inmates in U.S. prisons, according to Cook County Board data, though the recidivism rates decline by 75 percent for those that receive treatment for their addictions.

Moscato said the state pays an average of $34,000 per year to incarcerate someone in the Illinois Department of Corrections, as opposed to an annual drug treatment cost of $2,600.

"The cost savings is overwhelming," she said.

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-13th, said the idea has his full backing.

With overcrowding at Cook County Jail a major problem, Suffredin said providing residents with greater access to treatment may ultimately reduce the congestion.

"We're very concerned about the number of people being released into the community without resources," he said. "We've got to let people know all the areas of social service that we're filling in for the state."

Recent Headlines

Berrios relatives risk injury for right to crowd county payroll
Tuesday, July 29, 2104
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserve HQ plans expansion in River Forest
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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

How we shaft the mentally ill
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

County Board Of Review To Digitize, Streamline Property Tax Appeals System
Monday, July 28, 2014
Journal Online

Three DUI arrests, revoked license still on sheriff's payroll
Monday, July 28, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

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

all news items

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