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.
   
     
     
     



Legislators tackle local issues in forum

Thursday, February 01, 2007
Pioneer Press
by BOB SEIDENBERG | City Editor

Newly elected Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's proposed budget contains a "nuclear option," imploding programs ranging from health care to criminal justice that serve local communities, Commissioner Lawrence Suffredin, D-13th, said Friday.
Speaking at a special legislative forum at the Hotel Orrington in Evanston, Suffredin sketched out possible implications of Stroger's budget. Stroger has pledged to make $500 million in cuts to erase a deficit without raising taxes.
Stroger is "either the greatest politician in the state or the dumbest political official to ever come forward," Suffredin told his audience.
Suffredin, an attorney, said the proposed budget "is basically a nuclear option. It takes the system down to zero."
"I frankly think we may not prosecute misdemeanors if this budget passes," he said.
Stroger's proposed budget calls for cuts in public defenders, prosecutors and special police services -- such as a canine unit and an evidence gathering team that communities use, Suffredin said.
He said Stroger has said when he's done with his proposed budget, he'll give commissioners a chance to make their changes.
"I'm taking him at his word,' Suffredin said.
Other Evanston lawmakers at the breakfast also sounded cautionary notes about what new legislative sessions might bring.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-9th, was the most optimistic, however. Schakowsky is now part of a new majority in the U.S. House.
Bipartisan legislation
The new House majority quickly put its stamp on legislation, approving new clean-air measures, an increase in the minimum wage, expanded student loans and other proposals -- all within 100 hours of taking control.
"We did it with bipartisan support. There were 124 Republicans who voted with us on an energy bill and 82 on the minimum wage," she said.
She said the 100 hours of activity are viewed as a "down payment on a more comprehensive approach that we're going to take to each and every one of these issues."
State Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg, D-9th, and state Reps. Elizabeth Coulson, R-17th, and Julie Hamos, D-18th, spoke of the shadow that the state's unfunded pension liabilities casts over future efforts.
Schoenberg, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the pension is a "mess" that only now is being addressed.
The issue is the "boulder on the path up the mountain top" to any efforts at school reform, and "we have to move it aside," he said.
Hamos said legislators' budget priorities are based on new revenue growth. She said new revenue growth is pegged at $900 million for the next year.
"Our new pension obligation this year is $700 million, which leaves no money for schools, our big programs or anything," Hamos said, "so it's not possible to ignore our big problems."
Coulson, the lone Republican at Friday's session -- "We think of her as a Democrat," quipped Suffredin -- said issues such as the state's unfunded pension liability transcend partisan politics.
Unsure about the future
Nevertheless, with key legislative leaders espousing different approaches to the problem, "I'm not as hopeful as I thought I'd be after the November election" about an immediate solution, she said.
On the other hand, Coulson, a moderate Republican, said, "I'm very excited about what's happening in Washington."
The Chamber of Commerce forum called for a different format. Following their legislative previews, the lawmakers presided over small groups in sessions that addressed single topics, such as energy conservation legislation and transportation needs.
Schakowsky talked about alternative fuel sources such as ethanol, "which is very good for our region, focusing on the Midwest, not the Mideast, which I like."
In another room, Hamos, a highly regarded policy analyst before she was elected to office, presented a primer on future moves she is considering to create an integrated transportation system in the Chicago region.
Hamos, who heads up a state committee on mass transit, was one of the first legislators to call for a universal fare card system.
Her next move, she said, will be to place the Regional Transportation Authority in a leading role in coordinating various transit agencies, including the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra.
Currently, "you have basically three transit agencies that operate on their own," Hamos told members of her group.


Recent Headlines

Old Cook County Hospital on track to become next city landmark
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Free Radioactive Radon Test Kits From Cook County
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Toni Preckwinkle and county watchdog at odds over political travel reimbursements
Friday, January 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County judges — one cleared of gun charge, one reassigned for anger management — to return to bench at criminal court
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's been a bad decade for property taxes
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview pushes minimum wage, paid sick leave discussion to next week
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How Fritz Kaegi Plans to Transform the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Friday, January 04, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Cook County Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month
Friday, January 04, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

2 neighborhood courthouses close: 'You’re discouraging citizens from going to court'
Friday, January 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Campaign money tied to Ald. Edward Burke’s alleged extortion scheme was intended for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, sources say
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, parking operators in dispute over possibly millions in back taxes that could leave consumers pinched
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle pursues back taxes from parking lot operators
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

30K Cook County homeowners to get $8.3M in automatic property tax refunds
Monday, December 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

2019 preview: Glenview to consider minimum wage
Monday, December 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

'If I can do this, you can do this': Cook County judges inspire students of similar backgrounds
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

The Price Tag Of Freedom For Hundreds Of Non-Violent Cook County Inmates Is Less Than $2,000
Thursday, December 27, 2018
CBS Chicago

Give the Gift of Nature
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Why those 19 inmates were in Cook County Jail
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Medical examiner slow to review cases of fired pathologist who missed a murder
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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