Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

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



No layoffs or tax hikes in Preckwinkle’s $6.1B county budget — but also no pot revenue or gambling jackpot
The proposed budget does find funding for new county employees to work on taxpayer appeals of property assessments and expunging past cannabis convictions.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by Rachel Hinton

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is planning to unveil a $6.18 billion budget for 2020 on Thursday, a spending blueprint that promises no new taxes or layoffs but does eliminate hundreds of vacant healthcare positions.

The proposed budget also ratchets down earlier expectations of revenue infusions from newly legalized gambling and recreational marijuana, but does find funding for new county employees to work on taxpayer appeals of property assessments and expunging past cannabis convictions.

“Since black and brown people are disproportionately impacted by marijuana arrests, we should do everything in our power to expunge their records and help make them whole,” Preckwinkle said at an unveiling of her budget recommendation on Wednesday.

There will be 265 new jobs throughout the county, Tanya Anthony, the county’s budget director, said Wednesday.

Sixteen of those positions will be in the county’s Board of Review, and 17 will be added to Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s staff as both offices deal with a 15 percent increase in appeals over the past two years.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Chief Judge Timothy Evans also will see some new hires.

The county is expecting to handle 700,000 expungements of low-level marijuana convictions over the next few years under criminal and social justice measures included in the sweeping recreational marijuana law Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed this year.

Preckwinkle’s budget proposal includes money to bolster the county’s public safety arm to handle those expungements and to make sure other areas of the county’s public safety sector have the resources they need.

Funding is included for 89 new positions in the chief judge’s office for electronic monitoring, pre-trial officers and probation. And nine new assistant state’s attorneys will be hired to handle the marijuana expungements or serve in Foxx’s gun crimes strategies or other units. Other new positions will be added to the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks to the City Club of Chicago at Maggiano’s Banquets last year. File Photo. Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The rest of the 265 new positions in the budget proposal are spread across county departments to handle increased workloads or new duties.

No new taxes, fines or fees are included in the budget.

Preckwinkle also foresees no layoffs due to budgetary reasons. But the county’s health fund eliminated 638 vacant positions to fill its budget gap, Anthony said. Those positions include nurses and patient care coordinators.

The total headcount at the county is decreasing by 401 full-time employees, or nearly 2 percent, from the last budget year.

In June, Preckwinkle touted the structural changes she made in her first few years as County Board president as the reason for the budget gaps getting smaller — and part of the reason why the county would face its smallest budget gap, $18.7 million, since she took over.

That preliminary budget unveiled in the summer benefited from several new taxes passed by the Illinois General Assembly in the last days of May, including the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, the Illinois Gaming Act, the Sports Wagering Act and the Online Sales Tax.

In all, they amounted to roughly $9.8 million in revenue for 2020, according to the summer budget forecast.

On Wednesday, Ammar Rizki, Preckwinkle’s chief financial officer, said the county had lowered some of those numbers because of the way the state will be rolling the revenues out.

From left, Chief of Staff Lanetta Haynes Turner, County Board Toni Preckwinkle, Budget Director Tanya Anthony and Chief Financial Officer Ammar M. Rizki.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle addressing the Sun-Times Editorial Board last year. From left, Chief of Staff Lanetta Haynes Turner, Preckwinkle, Budget Director Tanya Anthony and Chief Financial Officer Ammar M. Rizki. File Photo. Rich Hein/Sun-Times

The county is no longer expecting any revenue from legal pot for the upcoming fiscal year. Tax revenue from legal weed is not expected until December 2020. Previous projections included $3.3 million in such revenue. Money from the Sports Wagering Act was expected to clock in at around $3.3 million, but now the county is projecting to receive around $1.75 million.

Preckwinkle said it’s clear the state had to get its “ducks in a row” on those larger measures passed during the last session.

The county could see choppy fiscal waters ahead as uncompensated health care provided by the county continues to rise — an increase of $104 million from 2017 to 2019.

The county’s projected deficit for the next fiscal year — the one following the period covered by this budget proposal — is currently $109.7 million.

“We clearly face some challenges, and the principal challenge that we face is around uncompensated care in the healthcare system and believe me, that’s something that I’ve talked to our health care managers about and intend to talk to the board about what is their strategy for, for addressing this significant challenge?” Preckwinkle said. “I think I’ll leave it at that.”

Preckwinkle will give her budget address Thursday at 10 a.m. It will come before the County Board for approval in late November ahead of the start of the 2020 fiscal year on Dec. 1.

“The budget reflects, you know, 10 years of hard work,” Preckwinkle said. “So, I’m proud of that 10 years of hard work.”



Recent Headlines

Live Updates: Looting Causes Food Shortages; Security Firms See Spike In Demand
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
WBEZ

So many were killed by gunfire in Chicago Sunday, the medical examiner brought in extra pathologists for the autopsies
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

More positive results for antiviral drug remdesivir in battle against COVID-19
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Pritzker, Preckwinkle, faith leaders look ahead to rebuilding
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Social distancing measures remain in place at county jail
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Protests and peace: Pritzker, Preckwinkle, Cupich call for ‘peaceful action’ to stem ‘contagion’ of racism
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

With Dozens Being Shot Every Day, Anti-Violence Groups Continue Working Amid Looting And COVID-19
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
WBEZ News

Judge tells Cicero no more surprise visits at nursing home where more than a dozen died from coronavirus
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

George Floyd fallout: Gov. J.B. Pritzker deploys National Guard to suburbs, access to downtown Chicago remains restricted
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Circuit Court Clerk introduces electronic options for court information in non-criminal matters
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sends officers, intel to aid suburban police: ‘We have been called everywhere’
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
The Daily Line

26th employee contracts COVID-19 at Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Senior citizens in subsidized housing have been dying alone at home, unnoticed because of coronavirus distancing
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Disaster Proclamation Issued For Cook County As Chicago Faces Looting, Vandalism
Monday, June 01, 2020
Blockclub Chicago

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: Carry on peaceful protests, but looters and arsonists will go to jail
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Monitoring Progress in Meeting the Criteria to Move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan
Monday, June 01, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

Chicago protests of George Floyd death live blog: June 1, 2020
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Pritzker declares disaster in nine counties, mobilizes more National Guard troops, calls ‘for calm and peace in our streets’
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Zero tolerance for rioting in the fight for police reform
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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