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



Jurors asked to dig deeper under Preckwinkle’s proposed budget

Monday, October 24, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

When Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle talks about shared sacrifice, she’s not kidding.

The budget plan Preckwinkle is planning to introduce on Tuesday not only includes layoffs and increased taxes on everyone from tobacco chewers to boat owners to car buyers, it even hits up people doing jury duty, taking away the free parking perk many now enjoy.

“It’s their civic duty,” Preckwinkle said.

Failing to reach a job-saving deal with union employees, Preckwinkle is planning to recommend more than 1,000 layoffs in 2012, expand sin and luxury taxes and curb the jail population — all in an effort to balance the $3 billion budget.

Preckwinkle’s plan calls for boosting parking rates at Stroger Hospital and possibly other facilities. Free parking would end at the county’s five suburban courthouses and main criminal courts complex at 26th and California in Chicago. The new $4.75 courthouse parking fee, along with the hike in other parking rates, would generate $6 million.

Already, jurors — and most visitors — to the county’s Daley Center court complex in downtown Chicago pay to park if they drive.

Preckwinkle said about half the 1,057 layoffs could be averted if union leaders agree to have their members take eight unpaid days off ˜ — including six holidays. She’s called these and cuts countywide part of the “shared sacrifice” of any austerity budget.But in recent days a spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees called the proposal a “non-starter” and a Service Employees Union International Local 73 spokesman said only they’d be willing to go back to the bargaining table.

Preckwinkle did not provide a full list of the proposed lay offs, but she said the ax would fall on 282 staff working in offices under her direct authority. That includes facilities management where janitorial services could be privatized under her plan. She’s calling for unionized janitors and private firms to compete under a “managed competition” to reduce costs.

She wants to hike the county’s alcohol tax imposed on wholesalers, generating $10.9 million. The beer tax alone would go up 50 percent — from six cents a gallon to nine cents.

The cigarette tax would expand to include loose tobacco and snuff, bringing in $12 million next year.

The “use” tax on cars, boats and other so-called luxury items would jump from .75 percent to 1 percent, bringing in $14 million in 2012.

The cuts along with tax and fee hikes helped close a $315 million deficit caused in part by the upcoming Jan. 1 quarter-cent rollback of the county’s sales tax — a projected loss of about $50 million in revenues next year.

She stood firm on the rollback, a campaign promise to consumers and businesses she said were hurt by the hike.

She said she could shore up the social and financial costs of jailing suspects in non-violent cases by putting them on electronic monitoring. By slashing the jail population by 1,000 she could save $5 million

“If you’re on electronic monitoring, you can go to work, continue to support your family,” Preckwinkle told the Sun-Times editorial board. “You can go to school and continue your education, or you could be at home, under your own roof with food provided for yourself as opposed to us providing it for you.”

She’s also looking to cut the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center population in half — to 150 — in the coming years.

About 42 percent of the kids, ages 10 to 16, who walk through the doors of the county’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center on the West Side are out in a week or less. She said it doesn’t make sense to house them when they could be at home and going to their own schools as they await trial. She’s examining the less costly system of putting kids in secure group homes.

Beyond the justice system, Preckwinkle is allotting $252 million to the health and hospital system that serves the poor and uninsured, but is demanding they shore up patient billing problems, renegotiate contracts — including $47 million in controversial consulting contracts — and other measures.

Preckwinkle’s recommendation will go to the full County Board for a vote. The fiscal year begins Dec. 1.

Commissioner Bridget Gainer, a North Side Democrat, said she liked the idea of managed competition in the janitorial department because it’s a way of saving money without affecting the county’s core mission of public health, public safety and collecting taxes.

“Finding a way to do it cheaper is a perfect compromise,” she said.

Peter N. Silvestri, a Northwest Side and suburban Republican, is taking a wait-and-see attitude about some of the measures, including the tax and fee hikes.

“If they’re going to create a greater burden for taxpayers then they have to justify these increases,” he said.



Recent Headlines

Beekeeping Behind Bars: Inmates Raise Bees at Cook County Jail
Friday, June 14, 2019
WTTW News

Bernie Judge, fiery Daily Law Bulletin editor, dies at 79
Friday, June 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Court rules county retirees entitled to health care no matter who last employer was
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Prevent Illinois from being the next ground zero for measles
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

New training and protocols needed at Cook County, task force says after sexual harassment scandal
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County assessor's tax reform bill skids in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi's property tax reforms stall out in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District has found the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the District this year.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant
Friday, May 24, 2019
WTTW News

Audit Recommends Ways To Overhaul Cook County Property Tax System
Thursday, May 23, 2019
WBEZ News

Cock-a-doodle-deferred? After ‘urban farmers’ cry foul, county tables rooster ban
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

From green screen computers to staff shortages, a new audit says Cook County's property tax system needs more resources
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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