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:  
   
 
 

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 has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable

Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Patrick O'Connell

Aiming to address a disparity in what Illinois residents pay for the water they use for drinking, cooking and bathing, proposed legislation in Springfield would require a comprehensive review of water rates throughout northeastern Illinois. The review would initially focus on how rates are set in communities that use water from Lake Michigan, but eventually include an analysis of rates throughout the entire state.

The goal of the legislation, proponents said, is to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable. Several sponsors of the legislation in the Illinois House and Senate represent communities in the suburbs south and west of Chicago where residents pay some of the highest rates in the state.

AdChoices
ADVERTISING

“We have to finally monitor the rates that our residents are being charged for water,” said state Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, the sponsor in the House.

The proposed legislation, lawmakers said, is in response to “The Water Drain,” a series of stories the Chicago Tribune published in 2017. The Tribune found that residents in the region’s lowest-income communities pay more for their water — as much as six times more — than residents in the wealthiest towns. The series also found that residents of towns with majority African-American populations pay a monthly water bill that is 20 percent higher than towns with majority white populations. At the same time, some of those towns lose more than a third of their water to leaking infrastructure.

“The goal is, in Illinois, it’s well-known and understood that rates in certain areas vary, and I think we had had to slow-walk things to get better understanding and to get more people to understand what’s going on and to get more buy-in,” said Ford, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Chicago during the spring. “I decided to lead for a change to the way we deliver water and to try to provide some people some relief.”

Ford said water is a basic civil right and the state should make sure it is delivered through a system that is fair.

The legislation, which has passed in the Senate and is awaiting a hearing before the House Public Utilities Committee, calls for the formation of a water rate advisory committee to study what communities pay for water and how those rates are set. The committee would include academic experts and representatives from several state agencies, including the state Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the attorney general’s office and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The proposal is designed to have the review of Lake Michigan water rates completed by December 2020, with the remainder of the state to come a year later. It would also address “the reasons for increases in water rates,” “the definition of affordability,” the “challenges within economically disadvantaged communities” and “opportunities for increased intergovernmental coordination for setting equitable water rates.”

Several other proposals in Springfield also target water-related issues. One aims to create a clean water workforce pipeline program that would provide grants and financial help to support careers in water infrastructure. Another is designed to direct the Illinois EPA to prioritize disadvantaged communities when distributing funds for the water loan program. And another would create a new Cook County water infrastructure fund to help pay for system upgrades and bolster state oversight in an attempt to prevent municipalities from overcharging other towns for Lake Michigan water.


Recent Headlines

Daily COVID-19 cases dip under 1,000, but officials warn it could take 2 weeks to see if protests prompt uptick (LIVE UPDATES)
Thursday, June 04, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County state’s attorney’s office says it will review allegations that Chicago cops pulled woman from car by her hair and placed knee on her neck
Thursday, June 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Report: 1 in 6 Chicago COVID-19 Cases Can Be Tied to Cook County Jail
Thursday, June 04, 2020
WTTW News

‘COVID-19 Adjustment’ may lessen Cook County property taxes in light of pandemic
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
JD Supra

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

More positive results for antiviral drug remdesivir in battle against COVID-19
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Live Updates: Looting Causes Food Shortages; Security Firms See Spike In Demand
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
WBEZ

So many were killed by gunfire in Chicago Sunday, the medical examiner brought in extra pathologists for the autopsies
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Social distancing measures remain in place at county jail
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Protests and peace: Pritzker, Preckwinkle, Cupich call for ‘peaceful action’ to stem ‘contagion’ of racism
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

With Dozens Being Shot Every Day, Anti-Violence Groups Continue Working Amid Looting And COVID-19
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
WBEZ News

Judge tells Cicero no more surprise visits at nursing home where more than a dozen died from coronavirus
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

George Floyd fallout: Gov. J.B. Pritzker deploys National Guard to suburbs, access to downtown Chicago remains restricted
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Circuit Court Clerk introduces electronic options for court information in non-criminal matters
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sends officers, intel to aid suburban police: ‘We have been called everywhere’
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Pritzker, Preckwinkle, faith leaders look ahead to rebuilding
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

26th employee contracts COVID-19 at Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Senior citizens in subsidized housing have been dying alone at home, unnoticed because of coronavirus distancing
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Disaster Proclamation Issued For Cook County As Chicago Faces Looting, Vandalism
Monday, June 01, 2020
Blockclub Chicago

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: Carry on peaceful protests, but looters and arsonists will go to jail
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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