January 13, 2016 Cook County Commissioners’ Board Meeting
County Commissioners called for a special hearing during the February Finance Committee meeting to determine the impact on grant revenues because of the failure of Illinois’ government to pass a 2016 Budget. At least $75 million dollars are at risk for human services grants that have been awarded by the County with the expectation that they would receive state funding in 2016 [Resolution 16-1090].
Criminal Justice issues were also very prominent. Approved was the call to appoint a Special State’s Attorney to handle the prosecution of Officer Jason Van Dyke [#16-0577] and to expand the Justice Department’s examination of Chicago policy practices to include the detention facility known as Homan Square. Emotional public testimony was given by lawyers and advocates in support of this Resolution [16-0964].
A resolution to establish a CC Task Force to research the expansion of affordable and quality healthcare to uninsured residents of Cook County [16-0690] was presented by the Workforce, Housing & Community Development Committee and approved by the full Board. Both human need and the cost of providing emergency room services were cited.
Other Resolutions referred to Committee:
Observed by: Diane Edmundson
Cook County Board Meeting, 12/16/15
Observed by: Nancy Marcus
Significant Decisions Made:
Item 16-0557 Cook County Board meeting schedule for 2016. The calendar was approved, there will be 15 meetings, 1 meeting per month including July and August and 2 meetings in the following months: March, June, and October.
Two items proposed by the Justice Advisory Council were approved:
Item 16-0574 an approved as amended resolution sponsored by Commissioner John Fritchey and Jesus Garcia. This is a request to the Cook County State’s Attorney to appear before a hearing of the Criminal Justice Committee to discuss the investigation and indictment in the LaQuan McDonald case. Commissioner Fritchey introduced an amendment to this resolution, waiving the 24-hour rule, to delete all reference to the LaQuan McDonald case and add that the State's Attorney appear to discuss the investigation and handling of alleged police misconduct matters. There was discussion as to whether this is an appropriate request. Gavin Ambose, Chief of Staff of the State's Attorney Office, stated an objection to this request..
Item 16-0420, is a report from David Orr, County Clerk and approved by the Commissioners regarding the proposed confirmation and appointment of Election Judges.
Item 15-5906 ordinance, Liquid Hazardous waste ordinance and fee. The Commissioners concurred with the Environmental Control Committee to approve this ordinance.
Significant Topics Discussed and/or Referred to Committee:
Item 16-0475 is a proposed ordinance sponsored by Commissioner Richard Boykin, This is to amend section 2-331 of the Cook County Guidelines for Special State’s Attorney pertaining to the prosecution of alleged offenses by members of the Police Department. Since there could be a presumption that the CC State’s Attorney has an interest in the case; therefore, the appointment of a Special State's Attorney should occur. This was referred to the Criminal Justice Committee.
Item 16-0577 proposed resolution sponsored by Commissioner Richard Boykin, calling on the Circuit Court of Cook County to appoint a Special State’s Attorney to handle the prosecution of Officer Jason Van Dyke. In light of the Tribune Editorial (Wednesday, December 16,2017) written by Chief Judge Timothy Evans, stating why he could not appoint a special prosecutor, this was referred to the Criminal Justice Committee.
Unexpected Votes, Events, Testimony or Items to Watch for in the Future:
Emily Harris, Executive Director of ADA 25 Chicago, testified in support of the renovations of the Cook County Board Room. Adam Baler of Access Living also testified in favor of the renovations.
Any Other Comments or Observations:
The meeting was 2 1/2 hours; 1 hour of the meeting was the Consent Calendar.
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.