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After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment

Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment

After warning of "painful cuts" in wake of the demise of Cook County's controversial beverage tax, Board President Toni Preckwinkle is expected to unveil an amendement to the 2018 budget Friday she claims will "bring it into balance."

"The amendment will have bipartisan support from commissioners," Preckwinkle said in a statement. "I applaud the commissioners for their collaboration on the amendment, as well as the separately elected officials, County staff and the public for their input, and look forward to passage of our budget Tuesday."

Preckwinkle had claimed that when commissioners voted to repeal her highly contested sweetened beverage tax, the budget suffered a $200 million loss.

The vote took place just two months after the tax took effect in the area. The tax will begin being phased out beginning Dec. 1.

"It closes 1,000 vacant and open positions, lays off about 500 middle managers, mainly in the sheriff’s office and chief judge, delays purchases of big items, consolidates many of the human resources, IT and procurement departments, 10 percent across the board cuts of all agencies and holds line on salary increases," said commissioner Richard Boykin, who added "[Preckwinkle] will likely have 17 votes for it."

Boykin added the plan is expected to include an amendment that creates a position in the Inspector General's office dedicated to investigating sexual harassment complaints.

Preckwinkle is expected to unveil the budget Friday. A vote is scheduled for Tuesday.



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