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:  
   
 
 

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.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



A pain in the butts

Friday, February 10, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
by ABDON M. PALLASCH Staff Reporter

Enjoy those $6.59 cigarette packs for the next 19 days. Starting March 1, they'll cost $7.59.
By a 10-7 vote, Cook County Board members voted Thursday to double the county tax on a pack of cigarettes from $1 to $2.

A pack of Marlboro Lights that cost $6.59 at a downtown Walgreens Thursday will be $7.59 next month. The same pack costs $4.45 at a White Hen in the DuPage County city of Elmhurst, and it costs $3.76 at a Hammond, Ind., 7-Eleven.

Commissioners voting against the tax hike said shoppers will increasingly hop borders, hurting Cook County businesses. 
 
With the hike, Chicago will have the highest cigarette taxes in the nation.

The cigarette tax increase helped plug a major gap in the county's $3.1 billion election-year spending plan, which Commissioner Mike Quigley described as a "smoke and mirrors budget."
The "smoke" refers to the cigarette increase, which will fill an expected $70 million cut in federal health care funding. The "mirrors" refers to the board's decision to adopt $8 million in rosier revenue projections from the county treasurer and clerk of the court.

Even the board's finance chairman, John Daley, said he didn't like re-jiggering the revenue estimates, but that it was the only realistic way to fund the 250 extra Cook County Jail guards a federal judge has ordered the county to hire.

"I am very concerned about adjusting revenues, but, as has been said, it is the only thing that's going to pass," Daley said. "It may come back to haunt us."

STATE-SIZED NUMBERS
At $3.1 billion, Cook County's budget could almost run a state. Montana has a total budget of $3.46 billion for 2006, including federal funds. Wyoming, meanwhile, has a general fund of $3.5 billion and a total budget of $7.3 billion. Alaska's total 2006 budget is $7.2 billion.

Illinois' total 2006 budget is $54.4 billion, while Chicago's is $5.2 billion.

Eric Herman
County Board President John Stroger's critics on the board scored a few minor victories, passing an amendment to dedicate all $70 million of the extra cigarette-tax money to health care and adding $200,000 in health care services for suburban residents.

Commissioner Forrest Claypool, who is running against Stroger in the March Democratic primary, diverted $333,000 to an agency that counsels abused children.

The board had earlier shot down Stroger's trial balloons about property or other tax hikes.
But critics failed to force any cuts in county bureaucracy.

'I have the power of veto'
Quigley and Claypool tried to pass an amendment forcing Stroger to cut duplicate county hospital jobs -- which they claim are packed with Stroger's political loyalists -- and use the savings to hire nurses and other front-line health care workers.

The irony, Quigley noted, was that the board passed a similar measure the year before.
"We passed this last year and the president chose not to implement the order," Quigley said. "What do we have to do? Say this time 'We really, really mean it?'"

"You seem to not want to recognize that during this term, I'm still the president," Stroger shot back. "This does come under the prerogative of the president."

"I'm just curious," Quigley said. "You're saying you don't have to do what we tell you to do? If you think it's 'wrong,' you don't have to do what we pass?"

Stroger said, "No, I am going to do what I think I have to do ... there are things that the board may do that I don't have to do. I have the power of veto."

"You didn't veto this," Quigley said, holding up the previous year's budget requiring Stroger to trim hospital bureaucracy by 30 percent.

"Stop coming across with all these crazy ideas," Stroger told Quigley, a Claypool ally.



Recent Headlines

Wilmette minimum wage working group surveys businesses, will survey residents
Monday, February 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-soda tax PAC jumps in Cook County Board races
Monday, February 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Circuit clerk gets stay on e-filing order
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Hundreds gather at Bridgeport church for Cmdr. Paul Bauer's wake
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dart goes to court in effort to find person accusing him of domestic violence
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Study says property tax system favors rich
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Property Tax System ‘More Regressive’ in Cook County, Report Finds
Friday, February 16, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

VIDEO: Cook County Jail detainees applaud CPD commander’s alleged killer
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Blockbuster report: How Cook County tax system shafts the little guy
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Order over lawsuits in Dorothy Brown’s office put on hold by appeals court
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Dorothy Brown can't 'end-run' First Amendment, judge says in denying delay
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Handwritten documents, Manila folders, carbon paper — welcome to Cook County criminal court
Monday, February 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Commissioners missed over a third of Forest Preserve meetings
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail guards lock down sweet union contract—despite sour budget mess
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Running for judge, Dorothy Brown’s inspector general accepts donation from bos
Friday, February 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook Co. President Urges Trump To Stop ICE Arrests In Courthouses
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Beverly Patch

Voting in Jail? New Bill Seeks to Expand Ballot Access for Detainees
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

COOK COUNTY BOARD COMMISSIONER PROPOSES HEARING ON POLICE OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WBEZ BGA

Assessor Berrios Extends Deadline for Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Applications
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

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