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:  
   
 
 

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.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Cook County in talks to fix its pension gap

Sunday, January 06, 2013
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Cook County's pension fund isn't as bad off as its state and Chicago counterparts, but it too will be depleted in coming years if a fix isn't found. Just a decade ago, the county pension fund was sound, with 90 percent of the cash on hand needed to cover payments it was obligated to make. Now it has only 58 percent of what's needed, leaving a shortfall of $5.8 billion. "It's clear we are better off than the state and the city, but the bar is pretty low there," said County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. The county shortfall has yet to put a squeeze on services, as it has at the state level, but failing to address the issue would only invite program cuts or higher taxes in the future, added County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago, who heads a committee addressing the issue. In an effort to avoid that day of reckoning, Preckwinkle, Gainer and other county officials have been talking to unions for the past year or so about possible solutions. Gainer has taken the unusual step of posting online data and potential changes. "Preckwinkle and her folks really want to meet and talk over stuff," said Scott Adams, the point man on pensions for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. "It's painful medicine. ... Discussions are going on." One proposal published by Gainer's committee would move all county workers and retirees with pension fund-subsidized health insurance into a health care exchange. That would reduce overall costs enough to increase county payments to the pension fund while also reducing the debt by nearly $1.7 billion, according to the plan. Other aspects include switching annual 3 percent cost-of-living increases from compound interest to simple interest, a 1.54 percentage point increase in the county's pension contribution and 1 percentage point more from employees. Those changes would get the plan 88 percent funded by 2050, county officials contend. Preckwinkle, however, said she's not committed to any particular plan and won't discuss details while talks with unions are still going on. "Everything is still on the table — everything," Preckwinkle said. "I think our union leadership has shown themselves to be quite reasonable and understands" that significant changes will have to be made, "because everybody wants the pension program to be sustainable. So that means we're going to have to do some difficult things in the short term if we want to have that long-term sustainability." Preckwinkle also said the county could end up taking its own agreed-on plan to Springfield for any changes required in state law, just as the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District did last year. "We've been engaged in talks with our unions for almost a year now around pension issues, and I think what's going to happen is if there's no agreement in Springfield, we will try to come to some agreement with them and bring it to Springfield," she said.


Recent Headlines

Study says property tax system favors rich
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Property Tax System ‘More Regressive’ in Cook County, Report Finds
Friday, February 16, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

VIDEO: Cook County Jail detainees applaud CPD commander’s alleged killer
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Blockbuster report: How Cook County tax system shafts the little guy
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Order over lawsuits in Dorothy Brown’s office put on hold by appeals court
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Dorothy Brown can't 'end-run' First Amendment, judge says in denying delay
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Handwritten documents, Manila folders, carbon paper — welcome to Cook County criminal court
Monday, February 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Commissioners missed over a third of Forest Preserve meetings
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail guards lock down sweet union contract—despite sour budget mess
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Running for judge, Dorothy Brown’s inspector general accepts donation from bos
Friday, February 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook Co. President Urges Trump To Stop ICE Arrests In Courthouses
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Beverly Patch

Voting in Jail? New Bill Seeks to Expand Ballot Access for Detainees
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

COOK COUNTY BOARD COMMISSIONER PROPOSES HEARING ON POLICE OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WBEZ BGA

Assessor Berrios Extends Deadline for Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Applications
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: You can’t vote if you don’t have a ballot
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Early voting postponed as candidate nomination contested
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Jacksonville Journal Courier

Jail Population Plunge Has Been Good For Taxpayers, Dart Says
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
WBBM CBSChicago

Foxx: Berrios shouldn't use special state's attorney to fight ethics law
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Every suspicious Cook County death deserves a proper investigation
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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