Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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



County finances heading south

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Special to suffredin.org
by Jonathan Lipman

Cook County revenue continues to fall and while budget officials say the county won't go broke this year, some commissioners are getting worried.

"The Cliffs Notes version is we're running out of money," said Commissioner Gregg Goslin (R-Glenview). "We're going to have to make some difficult decisions in December.

Earlier this month, budget officials said Cook County was about $16 million below its estimated revenue for the first four months of its $3 billion 2006 budget.

Things are not getting better after another month of data, Comptroller Walter Knorr said Monday during a meeting of the county finance committee.

Hospital revenue, the biggest hole in the budget, was another $3 million short in April and now is $26 million behind. Cigarette tax revenue was $4 million behind in April.

Finance committee chairman John Daley (D-Chicago) said new jail guards, increases in salaries and a decrease in federal health care money leaves a minimum $163 million hole in the budget next year.

If employee unions win any major concessions in their contracts, which are under negotiation now, that number could grow, he said.

"The contracts ... unless we fund it properly, with new revenues, that's where a problem could occur," Daley said. He said a hole that big could mean tax increases "or else some serious cuts throughout the county."

The county also has to make up an extra $20 million decrease in Medicaid money from the state.

They county got that money last year as a last-minute bailout that allowed commissioners facing re-election to approve a budget without a property tax increase. But commissioners were reminded Tuesday the cash was not an overall increase in funding, but actually an early payment that would otherwise be paid to the county in 2007.

"That's no surprise," Daley said. "That number was thrown out at last year's budget."

Knorr refused to give estimates of where the county will wind up at year's end, but said there is $464 million in the bank, and the county is in no danger of going broke.

But Knorr also signaled he was skeptical of claims from hospital officials that revenue from patient fees would improve. He said those numbers have to be "watched like a hawk."

"We're walking a fiscal tightrope," Knorr said.

Health bureau chief Daniel Winship said revenue was low in February and March because the county allowed contracts with its billing companies to lapse.

"I think we'll make (up the gap) because I think the money is there," Winship said.

But those billing contracts were renewed in April, and fee collection still was less than budgeted. Winship said he could not comment on that because he had not seen the April figures.

Jonathan Lipman may be reached at jlipman@dailysouthtown.com or (312) 782-1286.



Recent Headlines

Stimulus checks prove inaccessible for people experiencing homelessness
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Daily Northwestern

City, state stop giving Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Crain's Chicago Business

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois Health Officials Stop Administering J&J Vaccine After FDA Warning
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
WTTW News

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations paused in Illinois. Here’s some key information.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, state to suspend use of J&J vaccine
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Chicago Sun-Times

State of Illinois and Cook County Health pause distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after blood clotting cases
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Chicago Tribune

SUBURBAN COOK COUNTY EXPANDS VACCINE ELIGIBILITY
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Special to suffredin.org

Officials: No known cases of serious side effects from J&J in Illinois or suburbs
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Daily Herald

After traveling hundreds of miles for the first COVID-19 shot, can you get the second dose closer to home? Vaccine providers are divided.
Monday, April 12, 2021
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Monday, April 12, 2021
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus metrics in Illinois continue to move in wrong direction, stressing hospital ICU capacity in some regions
Monday, April 12, 2021
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus live blog, April 12, 2021: Illinois’ 7-day positivity rate continues upward trend
Monday, April 12, 2021
Chicago Sun-Times

You just became eligible for a COVID-19 shot. Try these vaccine hunter tips to score an appointment.
Monday, April 12, 2021
Chicago Tribune

COVID-19 cases on the rise as Illinois continues to dole out vaccines at record pace
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Chicago Sun-Times

Third straight record-breaking COVID-19 vaccination day sends Illinois shot total past 7 million
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Chicago Sun-Times

Has The Worst Of COVID-19 Passed In Cook County? Depends On Who You Ask
Sunday, April 11, 2021
WBEZ News

Chicago Tonight: Black Voices, April 11, 2021 - Full Show
Sunday, April 11, 2021
WTTW News

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Other Officials Call On State To Pass Plan To Reduce Vacant Properties
Sunday, April 11, 2021
CBS Local

The flip side of FOIA: Mountains of paper, small government staffs and — for some — an attitude problem
Friday, April 09, 2021
Chicago Tribune

Vacant Kmart, Sears, Carson’s stores are getting a new life as COVID-19 vaccination sites. But then what?
Friday, April 09, 2021
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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