Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



2 Cook County courthouses to close, employees spared layoffs under budget settlement: officials

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Gregory Pratt

2 Cook County courthouses to close, employees spared layoffs under budget settlement: officials

Two branch courthouses in Chicago are closing as part of a settlement to resolve the budget fight that erupted last year between the County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the court system after the controversial soda tax was repealed, officials announced Wednesday.

Despite the closings, no Circuit Court of Cook County workers will face layoffs this year. But all employees will have to take 10 unpaid furlough days, a move that will save the county $6.2 million. The settlement between Preckwinkle and Chief Circuit Court Judge Timothy Evans also will close one housing unit within the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and its 22 vacant positions will be eliminated.

“This dispute was about the necessary and reasonable funding that is statutorily required for the court system. But this litigation has also established that the county board has no authority to lay off court employees,” Evans said in a statement. “The county decides the funding level for the court, and the court is best suited to decide how these funds are allocated. Moving forward, that is an important precedent.”

An exact date for closing the small branch courthouses at 2452 W. Belmont Ave. and 155 W. 51st St. has not yet been determined, a county spokesman said. The settlement says they must close by Sept. 1. The preliminary felony hearings and misdemeanor cases heard there would be shifted to other county courthouses.

The budget dispute dates to last year’s repeal of the county’s controversial penny-an-ounce tax on sugar- and artificially sweetened beverages, a move that eliminated $200 million from Preckwinkle’s proposed spending plan. County commissioners approved a budget that called for Evans to lay off more than 150 workers — nearly half of the 321 county employees targeted for dismissal in the budget. That prompted a court challenge from Evans.

Evans had maintained that the proposed budget cuts would have hampered the court system’s ability to meet its legal requirements. He also said the county courts were being expected to shoulder a larger burden of the proposed job cuts than other agencies. Those cuts didn’t take effect while the lawsuit played out.

“As we stated when this case began, the Circuit Court of Cook County accounts for about 5 percent of the county’s operating budget, but the county board had ordered the court to bear 50 percent of the overall layoffs,” Evans said in the statement.

Judges won’t have to take the furlough days because their salaries are paid by the state, not the county.

Evans sought $41 million more in his budget. Instead, the settlement means the county court system will get $11.1 million more through a combination of new money and budget credits.

In addition to the branch courthouse closings, youth receiving behavioral health services from contractors at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center will be moved to the Cook County Health and Hospitals System by Sept. 1.

“We will continue working with all officials to ensure that all functions of the County are operating efficiently and in a fiscally responsible manner while still providing essential services to our residents,” Preckwinkle said in a statement.

Despite the spending cuts this year, Cook County officials already face a projected $82 million budget hole as they set out to craft a new plan this fall. But the current $5.2 billion budget, which expires Nov. 30, is expected to end with a $600,000 surplus, Preckwinkle’s office has said.

“As we head into more uncertain financial times, the county board has more tough decisions ahead,” Evans said. “I hope that the president and commissioners will consider all of the sacrifices the court has made and the disproportionate share of the cuts that the court was asked to take in 2018.”

gpratt@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @royalpratt

MORE COVERAGE

Cook County Board approves budget with 321 layoffs »



Recent Headlines

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board Adopts Resolution Concerned With Foxconn Impacts
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

FBI: Ex-employee alleges Dorothy Brown picked up cash payoffs at bagman's home
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Demolition of MWRD dam to clear way for fish and recreation
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Tom Dart to pair inmates with pet dogs
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Advisory Questions Approved for November Ballot
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

Editorial: Berrios and Kaegi: What a new assessor can and can't fix
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Your Personal Data May Be Exposed in Cook County Traffic Records
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBS Chicago

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County TIF districts bring in $1 billion
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco
Friday, July 20, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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