Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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.

Preckwinkle and Holy Cross Hospital move forward in spite of budget crisis

Friday, June 17, 2016
Jewish United Fund News

Illinois social service agencies are feeling the impact of the ongoing state budget stalemate in Springfield, but so are local governments and municipalities. Cook County, which includes 80 Federation-supported programs, is no exception. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made that much clear and more when she addressed more than 60 members of JUF's Government Affairs Committee on June 14.

"These are difficult times for local governments, including our own," she said.

Operating the second largest county in the nation, Preckwinkle continues to push forward on the county's core policy agenda of public health, public safety and economic development.

Currently, the state owes the county $110 million for its public safety and public health programs not protected by court order or supplemental appropriations. Despite the financial burdens, Preckwinkle reported noticeable milestones: More than 160,000 people are enrolled in the County Care program, made possible through a Medicaid expansion waiver in 2012.

"County Care reduced taxpayer allocation to the Health and Hospital System from $400 million in 2010 to $121 million this year," she said.

Public safety is another top priority for Preckwinkle, who is deeply committed to reforming the county's criminal justice system. She has worked to lower the jail population by engaging stakeholders in changing how cases are handled in bond court by diverting non-violent offenders, including those who have mental health or substance abuse treatment needs, to appropriate community-based services. Since she took office, the number of general population detainees Cook County Jail has declined from 10,000 to about 7,500. With this reduction, the County hopes to reinvest more of its available funds in much-needed programs services, such as restorative justice, drop-in centers, and other violence prevention initiatives.

The county, like social service agencies, is questioning whether or not to continue its partnership with the state. "Although the county expects payment to its health and hospital systems," says Preckwinkle, "we are now faced with the question of whether there are programs normally funded by the state that we can continue to support after June 30."

Preckwinkle was joined by Kathe Dellacecca, vice president of behavioral health at Sinai Health System, who reported on the 10-month oldCrisis Stabilization Unit at Holy Cross Hospital, a partner of Sinai Health System. With shrinking government dollars and the closure of city mental health clinics, Illinois has seen a 19 percent increase in emergency department visits for mental health-related issues and roughly 50 percent of the county jail population is diagnosed with a mental illness.

"The difficulties remain once the patient is back in the community with insufficient support to maintain a sustainable recovery," Dellacecca said.

In response to need, Sinai implemented the CSU to provide immediate, targeted community-based care for people struggling to maintain their behavioral health care at home. Serving 914 patients since its July 2015 debut, the CSU caught the attention of Cook County Sherriff Tom Dart, who will transfer inmates to the CSU for assessment.The CSU was featured in theChicago Tribuneon May 31.

Peter Friedman, Government Affairs Committee vice chair for local government, said, "Although much of our focus this past year has been at the state and federal levels, we recognize the important role that the county plays in our work. "We value our strong relationships with elected officials at the county level, and commend the county and our affiliated partner agency Sinai Health System for their excellent work and continued commitment to serving the most vulnerable during these especially challenging times."

The meeting concluded with an update from Suzanne Strassberger, JUF's Springfield liason, who provided an update on the budget impasse. With each day, the state continues to grow deeper in debt, and programs continue to shut down. Although resolution options are in play and negotiations continue, a budget deal does not seem imminent.

Strassberger said she believes there are three things that might force a deal: 1) state employees stop getting paid; 2) K-12 schools do not open in August due to inadequate funding; 3) rank-and-file legislators revolt against the administration.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene next week.

Recent Headlines

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

MWRD, DEA partner to collect unwanted drugs Oct. 27, 2018
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Special to

Cook County just dumped 7,500 pounds of rainbow trout into area lakes. Within a few weeks, most will be gone.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Daily Southtown

$4.5M deal for wisdom tooth death
Friday, October 19, 2018
Chicago Daily law Bulletin

Chicago Inside Out
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Special prosecutor billed Cook County nearly 50K for Van Dyke murder case
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Toni Preckwinkle, Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia agree on plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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