Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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 was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.

Cook County OKs $3 billion budget, government shutdown

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Cook County government will shut down five days this year as part of a cost-cutting, job-saving $3 billion budget plan approved during a marathon meeting that concluded early Saturday morning.

With the exception of the jail, some courts and the taxpayer-funded health and hospital system — or any office providing “vital services” — county government would be shuttered for five days beyond the regularly scheduled holidays, according to a deal approved unanimously by the 17 county commissioners at 4:25 a.m. Saturday. That’s more than 19 hours after the budget meeting first began.

Some 15,000 “non-essential personnel,” from elected leaders to court clerks, would take the time, plus another five days off work without pay.

In total, the 10 days off would not only save an estimated $35 million but also 550 employees whose jobs were on the chopping block.

“I think it’s one thing where just about everyone has buy-in. The elected [officials] have agreed, most of the unions have agreed — this is a way to save these jobs,” said Commissioner Robert Steele, a West Side Democrat.

Preckwinkle told her colleagues on the county she was grateful for their support for this, her inaugural county budget.

“I want to thank all of you for all of your hard work over the last three months and particularly your patience and forbearance this evening,” said Preckwinkle, who took office in December.

Commissioner Gregg Goslin, a Northwest suburban Republican, said he’s personally prepared for 10 days without pay.

“It’s the kind of creative approach we need to solve this budget problem,” he said.

There will still be hundreds of layoffs, commissioners say.

But it’s less than the 1,000-plus County Board President Toni Preckwinkle predicted when she first laid out her $3 billion budget proposal, which included a plan to close a $487 million deficit.

Preckwinkle and her staff have been working in recent days with officials of the various labor unions to broker a deal that would call for a series of unpaid days off.

Among the exceptions was the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employess Council 31, which balked at the furloughs for its roughly 5,000 workers in the offices of the public defender, state’s attorney and probation department, along with the health and hospital system. Between 400 and 500 had been slated for layoffs.

“Furloughs are effectively a pay cut,” AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall stated in an email. “AFSCME represents many county employees who live paycheck to paycheck, and who simply can’t afford a cut in pay. As it stands, due to the negligence of the previous county administration that dragged out contract negotiations, these workers have not had a pay increase for nearly three years,” he stated.

“AFSCME believes every effort should be made to avoid layoffs and furloughs alike, and we stand ready to work with the county to do so.”

Late Friday, Commissioner Larry Suffredin, a North Side Democrat, said AFSCME — in talks with Preckwinkle’s staff — will get a two-week extension to negotiate not only the proposed unpaid 10 days for their employees but also the labor union’s expired contract.

Henry Bayer, executive director of Local 31, declined comment during a break in the budget meeting Friday night.

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

Cook County Assessor’s Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the region’s sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

Measles has turned up in Cook County. Here's what you need to know.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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