Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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.

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

Cuts, not casinos, will balance budget

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Daily Southtown

Two Cook County commissioners from Southland districts say the county board wouldn't have to consider new taxes on hotels and restaurants if the state would grant casino licenses for Chicago and the south suburbs.

Deborah Sims (D-Posen) and Joan Patricia Murphy (D-Crestwood) accused the governor and the Legislature of "economic discrimination against south Cook County and its residents."

We agree that the Southland ought to get a casino license to keep south suburban gambling dollars in Illinois, and as we've said in the past, we believe a casino in Chicago would make economic sense as an enhancement to the city's tourism and convention attractions.

But even if the Legislature and governor were inclined to create new licenses, it's highly unlikely they'll do so in time to solve the urgent budget crisis in Cook County. Lawmakers have grappled with different versions of casino legislation for years, and the state's 10th and final license has been out of commission since 1997. To assume lawmakers can pass a bill by the end of February is naive.

Even if lawmakers approved new licenses, it's unclear whether the county could tap into that money immediately.

While Sims and Murphy say they are not entirely on board with President John Stroger's plan for new taxes, neither has come out against it yet.

Stroger wants a new 2 percent county tax on restaurants and hotels. The new taxes would hurt hotels and restaurants in this region because customers would have the option of spending their money nearby in Will County or Indiana, where taxes are lower. That will force some businesses to move, and it will hurt business for those that stay.

For Sims and Murphy, voting against new taxes would be voting in the interests of their constituents because any new taxes are likely to drive more businesses out of the Southland and eventually lead to higher property taxes.

Stroger again is making the argument that voters should be happy he's not increasing property taxes. But other new taxes that further erode the business climate are going to cause higher property taxes in the long run. Perhaps a property-tax hike won't immediately come from the county board, but it will come from local school districts, park and library boards and municipalities that will have to make up for revenue lost when businesses move away.

In the meantime, we urge the Cook County Board to look for spending cuts in the county budget. Several ideas have been proposed, such as eliminating vacant positions, reducing overtime and asking constitutional officers for additional reductions.

Sims and Murphy are right to lobby for a piece of the casino action for the south suburbs and the city. But casino revenues aren't going to solve this year's county budget problems. Spending cuts will.

We are simply not convinced that county leaders can't do more to trim their budgets, regardless of whether a casino comes to town.



Recent Headlines

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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