Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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 has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Smoking ban may blanket suburbs

Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

A majority of Cook County commissioners express at least some support for a measure that could ban smoking in restaurants and bars in many county suburbs.

Nine commissioners, including County President John Stroger, said they totally support or are leaning toward supporting a proposal by Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) that would affect any suburb that does not have its own ordinance in place.

It will probably be some time before the board votes on a ban. Quigley announced his proposal Tuesday.

"I don't see it being passed in the near future, we're going to have to do a lot of work," said Commissioner Bobbie Steele (D-Chicago), who supports the ban. "We'll research it and we'll probably get resistance from the restaurant community."

At the same time, several commissioners said there likely won't be a need for the years of debate that have set the table for today's vote on a city smoking ban. County commissioners can use the research and testimony already collected by city aldermen.

"The city council's done a lot of good work on this, and I think we should take a look at it," Commissioner John Daley (D-Chicago) said. "There might be some good compromises there."

But after weeks of negotiating, city aldermen settled on a compromise Tuesday that will still amount to a blanket ban on public smoking in Chicago. After failing to win an exemption for stand-alone taverns, ban opponents agreed to a deal that would let taverns phase in the ban over two or three years.

Quigley said he'll push for hearings in the next few weeks. Commissioner Jerry Butler (D-Chicago) chairs the health committee and said he supports the ban despite reservations.

Like many giving preliminary support to the countywide ban, Stroger said he would like time to study the proposal and to see if a compromise is possible.

But in a sign of support, Stroger said he has directed the county's public health department to help Quigley, his political opponent, in researching and drafting the ordinance.

"I don't see anything wrong with (a ban) if it's going to be banned in Chicago," Stroger said. "It's really to protect people's health."

Stroger mentioned his son, Hans Stroger, who died from asthma in 1982.

"That comes not only from problems he may have picked up genetically but exposure to elements in the air," Stroger said.

Many commissioners on both sides of the issue said they were worried about whether the county would be overstepping its authority, forcing a ban on local villages and cities.

"The 1970 Illinois constitution made it pretty clear," Commissioner Carl Hansen (R-Mount Prospect) said. "Those kinds of matters are really supposed to be taken up by local municipalities."

But Steele, a frequent advocate for the county hospitals, said the county should take the lead on the issue because it provides health care for the poor.

"The problems that are created by second-hand smoke end up in our own health system," Steele said. "I'm more concerned about people's health than the resources of these restaurants."

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Pat Driscoll, the county board's attorney, said the county has authority to enact legislation dealing with public safety and public health.

Unless a village has its own ordinance governing smoking, Driscoll said, the county's ordinance would be law.

Commissioners' arguments reflected the central debate of public health versus personal freedom.

"Have you seen what a lung looks like after second-hand smoke?" asked Deborah Sims (D-Chicago). "That's serious."

"I think the marketplace has to determine this," said Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago). "A lot of consumers want to avoid smoking, and there are businesses that cater to them."

Both sides likely will face pressure similar to the intense lobbying that has accompanied the debate in Chicago city council. Quigley announced his proposal Tuesday along with Joel Africk, CEO of the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago. Africk has been a fixture in city council during the recent debate.

Africk said the group relies on grassroots support, denying reports that his group spent $2 million on its city campaign, and will be ready to help Quigley.

"This is in a very early stage right now," Africk said. "But we'll support this."

Illinois Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Ariens said his group will oppose the county ban as strenuously as it has opposed the city's.

 



Recent Headlines

Can courts do more to force FOID card violators to give up their guns?
Monday, February 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Keep the Cook County Health board independent
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Park Ridge looks to move 911 dispatching services to Cook County call center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A report’s flaws suggest: Cook County bail reforms may have endangered the public
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Offering rehab instead of jail time, ‘Drug Court’ gives some a second chance
Thursday, February 13, 2020
WGN News

Preckwinkle aide barred from her offices after sexual harassment incident
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New outreach group combating Cook County’s opioid crisis by offering treatment, hope
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WGN News

Evanston Officials Eye County Grant for Construction of New Animal Shelter
Monday, February 10, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

CTA to spend $38 million studying Red Line extension
Monday, February 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

In Illinois — the Prairie State — little prairie land remains. But work is being done to save what’s left in Cook County and restore more.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Brookfield Zoo chief heads for the exits
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Suspect in weekend killing of Cook County inmate accused of beating another detainee in November attack captured on video
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Tribune

MacArthur grants Cook County another $2.5 million for criminal justice reform
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Property tax hikes won’t be that bad, new report says
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

MacArthur Foundation donates $2.5 million to Cook County Criminal Courts
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Improvements planned for Green Bay Road in Evanston as part of long-term project
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judicial candidate Arthur Sutton has history of disciplinary issues
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Injustice Watch

Area legislators dish on policy plans that impact seniors
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Pappas and other Cook County, Chicago and federal elected officials urge residents to return the 2020 Census questionnaire
Monday, February 03, 2020
Daily Herald

Plans for new Provident Hospital paused
Monday, February 03, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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