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:  

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.

Preckwinkle throws in the towel on county pension reform plan

Friday, May 30, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times
by Dave McKinney

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle abandoned efforts Friday to pass a pension-reform package for county workers and retirees this spring after her plan withered in the Illinois House in the face of GOP opposition.

"Pension reform is critical to protect the retirement security of our workers, the county's bond ratings and the interests of taxpayers in eliminating $6.5 billioin in unfunded pension debt," she said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to continuing to work with members of the General Assembly to adopt this sound plan of reforms later this year."

The plan she embraced would have hiked employee retirement ages and pension contributions, reeled in retirement benefits but preserved a compounding, cost-of-living increase that state and city retirees have been denied under legislation that passed the General Assembly last year and earlier this spring.

House Republicans balked at the compounding COLA.

One of the public-sector unions that opposed the legislation, calling it unconstitutional, urged Preckwinkle to reopen negotiations on a pension package.

"We urge Cook County to resume pension discussions with all county unions," AFSCME Council 31 said in a prepared statement. "Let's work together for a fair, constitutional plan all can support."

Here is the full text of Preckwinkle's statement:

"Iím grateful to the supermajority of Illinois Senators and to the members of the House Pension and Personnel committee who voted in favor of Cook County pension reform this week. Our reform package was the product of more than two years of collaboration. It has the support of 2/3 of the unions who represent Cook County employees, independent organizations like the Civic Federation and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, local business leaders and bipartisan representatives of the Cook County Board of Commissioners because it is fiscally sound, equitable to all stakeholders, and on firm constitutional footing. I believe in our pension reform proposal and will continue to work with this broad coalition to see the bill enacted in the fall.

"The reform package we presented includes automatic correction mechanisms that will protect taxpayers in the event that adverse market conditions negatively impact the plan's funding in the future. Today, taxpayers fund 60% of the contributions to the retirement system, and employees fund 40%. Our proposed legislation mirrors this ratio, with the employee portion coming through a mix of benefit reforms and increased contributions. Cook County's proposed reforms take significantly greater savings pre-retirement and less post-retirement than other recent pension reform bills, asking Cook County workers, like all Americans, to work longer as they live longer before beginning to collect retirement benefits. In exchange, the pension fund, which is currently projected to be insolvent in 20-25 years, will provide benefits to our workers well into the future.

"Independent actuarial analysis shows this plan bringing the Cook County and Forest Preserve District pension funds to full solvency within 30 years, and we are confident that it will withstand legal scrutiny if challenged in the courts.

"Despite the belief by some that Cook County is not at a crisis point yet, we have been repeatedly warned by the ratings agencies that weíre likely to face a downgrade in our bond rating this summer if reforms to address the $6.5 billion in unfunded pension debt are not passed. In fact, just today Fitch Ratings placed the Forest Preserve Districtís bond rating on negative outlook, directly stating that the lack of a solution to the pension crisis will lead to a downgrade. The longer we wait to act, the worse our pension situation becomes. Credit downgrades make it more expensive to borrow money and have a direct impact on the long-term financial stability of Cook County and the Forest Preserve District. The Civic Federation stressed the urgency of immediate action in their statement of support for our plan.

"Pension reform is critical to protect the retirement security of our workers, the County's bond ratings and the interests of taxpayers in eliminating $6.5 billion in unfunded pension debt. I look forward to continuing to work with members of the general assembly to adopt this sound plan of reforms later this year.

Recent Headlines

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jailís Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Cook County Rrecord

all news items

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