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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Cook County 2016 Budget Over $500 Million in New Taxes and Little Reform –Why I Voted NO

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

On November 18, 2015 the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the Fiscal Year2016 Budget. For the second year, and only the second time as a Commissioner, I voted “NO” on the budget. I did this because the budget showed a lack of reform, planning and coordination that now subjects our taxpayers to over $500 million in new taxes and the highest sales tax and hotel tax in the nation. I voted “No” on these taxes.

As I reported to you earlier this year, the sales tax increase was done outside of our adopted budget process. Because we did not follow our normal budget process, there was no plan to ensure that the funds would be properly spent and no justification for the need to layer on additional taxes unto already overtaxed Cook County Residents. When this budget was introduced, there was a request for $30 million more in taxes and fees in addition to the already approved $474 million a year sales tax increase.

During the last week, as the Amusement Tax increase of $21 million failed to get enough support for passage, a new $31 million Hotel Tax was proposed. There was no planning or coordination to determine what this Hotel Tax would mean to the region’s economy and what effect it would have on jobs. The Hotel Tax was combined with $4.9 million in new court filing fees to present a “reasonable and modest” tax increase. These taxes and fees will have great detrimental effect on our citizens and the regional economy and are not “reasonable and modest”.

A year ago, I pointed out our need to plan for criminal justice issues to reduce the gun threat and reduce overall violence in our county. During the last year the Chief Judge, State’s Attorney, Public Defender and Sheriff have been required to report on their efforts to reduce crime through pretrial service programs and drug diversion programs. Their efforts have been working but the response to success has been to restrict programs that work in this budget. The Chief Judge’s budget and that of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center(JTDC) were restricted and the State’s Attorney’s very successful Drug Diversion was eliminated. The County Board restored successful programs in those budgets by adopting amendments that I sponsored. In addition, I was able to restore the Chief Judge’s successful Mortgage Mediation Program which has helped thousands of people keep their homes during the foreclosure crisis.

A year ago I was blocked when I tried to get additional funding for our pension system. I stated that we would need $160 million in additional payments this year. This budget makes a $270 million payment to the pension fund which helps avoid an immediate crisis but efforts to ensure future additional payment were defeated. The pension issue must have a long term solution.

I was unable to restore full funding to the Restorative Justice Program, Access to Care Health Plan, and the Bridge Behavioral Health Aftercare for children being discharged from the JTDC. These programs improve the quality of life in our County and I will continue to fight for them.

This budget also puts the Cook County Health and Hospital System in jeopardy because it cuts $42 million from the County’s subsidy to the System. While the System is working better than ever and we are serving more insured patients this is not the time to lessen our support. If the System is to stand on its own in the future, we must support it adequately now.

Finally, this budget delays for 6 months a 2% pay raise for all non-union County workers. All union workers will get the 2% raise immediately. This is not right. All County workers should be treated the same. For all these reasons I voted “NO” on the Budget.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli on Gun Violence, Police Database.
Monday, August 26, 2019
WTTW

Assessor: Homes values, sale prices up in Schaumburg Township
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Daily Herald

Home improvement grant designed to get the lead out
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

NEW ILLINOIS LAW ENDS $120 FEE TO CLEAR FALSE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN COOK COUNTY
Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
WTTW News

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

all news items

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