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.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



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

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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