Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.

Cook County faces cash crunch
Sources say gov't may need to borrow to fund operations

Sunday, April 02, 2006
Crain's Chicago Business

Already reeling from the hospitalization of President John H. Stroger Jr., Cook County government now faces a troubling financial predicament: a cash crunch that sources say could force the county to borrow short-term operating funds for the first time in a decade.

Sources inside county government report that county officials approached a major Chicago bank in recent weeks to discuss establishing a line of credit up to $200 million, and that the county is considering talking with other institutions. Tapping such a line would allow the county to cover its operating expenses, beginning around mid-year, until second-half property tax revenues come in late this summer and officials can consider possible cost cuts, those sources say.

The funding deficit appears to be the result of revenue shortfalls, mostly from county-run hospitals.

James Wigham, Mr. Stroger's chief of staff, released a statement saying the county is "not considering, nor do we have plans to seek, a $200-million line of credit." The statement also says it is "premature" to gauge whether spending will remain within the limits set in the $3.1-billion budget for the fiscal year that began Dec. 1.

But two other county commissioners tell a different story.

Commissioner Michael Quigley says the County Board has not been officially informed of the shortfall, but says "county officials" have told him privately that they are investigating lines of credit. "There's smoke out there to make you think this is true," Mr. Quigley says. Mr. Quigley backed Mr. Stroger's challenger, Forrest Claypool, in the March 21 Democratic primary, which Mr. Stroger narrowly won.

John Daley, a Stroger ally who heads the County Board's Finance Committee, says the Stroger administration has not informed him that it wants to establish a line of credit, an action that would require board approval. But Mr. Daley makes it clear that he has growing concerns about the state of county finances.

Revenues at county-run John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital ran $60 million short of budget last year, and receipts from the county's cigarette tax have lagged, Mr. Daley says, and he has sponsored a pending resolution that would require the county to begin issuing monthly financial reports.

"Would I be surprised if they wanted a line of credit? When we passed the (fiscal 2006) budget, I was concerned about revenues. I knew we would have to come back at mid-year and review them," Mr. Daley says.

Rumors of cash-flow problems have been circulating for weeks. Finances were a major issue in the primary election: Mr. Stroger emphasized that the county's bond rating is at a record high, and Mr. Claypool questioned the status of the county's health fund and blasted Mr. Stroger for a series of tax hikes.

Cook County has not engaged in short-term borrowing since 1995, Mr. Daley and other sources say. The borrowing would require the county to pay interest and other fees.

The bond market generally will not object to seasonal short-term borrowing — unless it is a sign of longer-term, underlying problems, says Joseph O'Keefe, an analyst with Fitch Ratings in Chicago.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

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.