Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Cook County unanimously passes $8 billion budget
“How can you vote against it?” one commissioner asked.

Thursday, November 18, 2021
Crain's Chicago Business
by A.D. Quig

The Cook County Board unanimously approved President Toni Preckwinkle’s $8 billion 2022 budget without any major tax hikes, fees, layoffs, service cuts or drama.

As Republican Commissioner Pete Silvestri put it, “How can you vote against it?”

True to her prudent reputation, Preckwinkle proposed spreading out the spending of the county’s $1 billion in federal COVID-19 American Rescue Plan funding evenly over the next three years. In this year’s budget, roughly $100 million will boost personnel spending and another $233 million will be used on community programming.

It’s a departure from the deliberations in the Chicago City Council, where aldermen were split on a budget that used a significant portion of ARP funding to plug deficits.

 

 

There’s “much to be proud of” in the 2022 plan, Preckwinkle told commissioners after the vote, including $80 million in ARP funding for economic development, cash assistance and a guaranteed income pilot, as well as short- and long-term housing, workforce development and small businesses assistance.

Some $60 million will be spent on health initiatives, including increased behavioral and mental health services and efforts promoting access to food and nutrition. Equity initiatives will get $53 million, including restorative justice grants. And $40 million is being directed toward high-priority infrastructure programs, including broadband infrastructure “to bridge the digital divide,” Preckwinkle said.

Two thirds of ARP money “will go directly to residents, important programs and transformative ideas over the next three years,” Preckwinkle said. “We’re in this position to do so much good because we’ve avoided quick fixes in previous budgets. . . .This hard work is rightfully being recognized.”

She was referring to a ratings upgrade from Fitch Ratings earlier this month and an outlook improvement from S&P, citing the county’s proactive fiscal management during the pandemic.

But the Civic Federation, a fiscal watchdog group, and ratings agencies have warned of future pressures: rising pension contributions owed to address a large and underfunded obligation, and rising labor expenses at Cook County Health along with likely declines in Medicaid membership when the state resumes annual eligibility reviews for the program.

Overall spending will rise in next year’s budget by $1.1 billion, or 16%, compared with last year. The bulk of that increase is driven by Cook County Health, which is seeing a rise in membership in CountyCare, CCH’s Medicaid managed care plan. Average monthly membership is projected at more than 390,000. That’s a surge from 2021, when membership averaged 356,000. CCH is adding 758 full-time positions to bolster nursing, surgical capacity and screening services at Stroger and Provident hospitals.

Civic Federation did voice its support of the spending plan, citing a buildup of the county’s rainy-day funds, management of its long-term debt levels and revenue forecasting that’s helped officials plan for budget gaps.

“Steady fiscal stewardship has paid off for Cook County, both generally and amid the lingering economic effects of the COVID recession,” Civic Federation President Laurence Msall said in a news release.

 

The budget for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, which is governed by the same members of the Cook County Board, also passed today. The Forest Preserve District is asking voters to approve a .025% property tax increase in a referendum in the 2022 general election. If approved, the hike would add roughly $40 million to the district’s property tax take, which is currently $100 million. The extra funding would be used to bolster the preserves' ailing pension fund, plus land conservation, maintenance at the Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden and other capital projects.



Recent Headlines

Small businesses celebrate wins in 1st round of county ARPA funds set for approval
Thursday, January 13, 2022
The Daily Line

Man critically wounded in shootout with Cook County sheriff’s officers in South Shore
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

After a record high, Cook County Jail’s COVID-19 infections subside
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
WBEZ News

Caged coyote should be moved to animal sanctuary, veterinarians urge Cook County Forest Preserve officials
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Petition seeks to move captive coyote from Cook County forest preserve cage to animal sanctuary
Monday, January 10, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Weekend COVID-19 testing numbers inflated by reporting problem, state’s hospital beds filled by unvaccinated
Monday, January 10, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Says There Are Serious Flaws In System With Murder Suspects Being Out On Electronic Monitoring
Monday, January 10, 2022
CBS Local Chicago

The Battle Against Buckthorn: A Look at How Local Volunteers Fight Back Against the Invasive Species
Sunday, January 09, 2022
WTTW News

Chicago courthouses and jails again buffeted as latest COVID wave sweeps city: ‘We will all get through these challenges’
Friday, January 07, 2022
Chicago Tribune

Cook County deploys trailers to hospitals to handle looming surge in COVID deaths
Thursday, January 06, 2022
ABC Local

Some suburban mayors leave vaccine mandate compliance to Cook County: ‘It’s not up to us to enforce’
Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Wendt resists vaccine mandate, throwing Board of Review ‘reopening’ into question on cusp of appeals season
Wednesday, January 05, 2022
The Daily Line

Preparing for the worst: Cook County deploys trailers to hospitals to handle looming surge in COVID-19 deaths
Wednesday, January 05, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

HEALTH ALERT NETWORK from Cook County Department of Public Health
Tuesday, January 04, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

Chief judge shoots down Lightfoot’s request for moratorium on electronic monitoring for most violent offenders
Tuesday, January 04, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Keep up the fight against anti-vaccine nonsense
Monday, January 03, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

Homicides and opioid overdose deaths rose in Cook County last year, COVID-19 deaths decreased but still totaled nearly 4,500
Monday, January 03, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times

For the Love Of Water (FLOW) is a summary of news from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Monday, January 03, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

Some Southland park districts requiring vaccination proof at fitness facilities to comply with Cook County rules
Monday, January 03, 2022
Chicago Tribune

COVID-19 vaccine mandate starts Monday, but how will Chicago restaurants enforce it? Here’s what to know.
Sunday, January 02, 2022
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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