Cook County Board of Commissioners Committee Meetings
September 4, 2019
Chair Larry Suffredin announced at the beginning of the meeting that the Committee would hear all the public comments, but would not take any action on the proposed Just Housing Amendment Interpretive Rules from the Department of Human Rights and Ethics. Instead, the Department and Committee would consider all the comments, written and verbal, and consider whether any changes were warranted. (Agenda Item 19-4770)
Legislation & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee
Observer - Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting - September 5, 2019
A Request to enter into and execute a contract with Axon Enterprise, Scottsdale, AZ Axon Enterprise provides law enforcement grade weapons and tech services. The contract is for 5 yr, 9/12/2019 - 9/11/2024. Explanations were provided for the Commissioners’ many questions. It was explained that this contract will provide upgrades and expansion of the existing body worn cameras and TASER weapons inventory that are needed to supply more Cook County Sheriff Department Officers with equipment. Axon is the only company that sells law-enforcement grade weapons which are sold strictly to law enforcement agencies. The TASER will activate their body worn camera; it is the only weapon that will activate the camera. The cloud storage system is unique to Axon. The cameras’ recordings will be sharable with the Public Defender’s Office. The contract was approved. (Agenda Item 19-5076)
The Fair Transit of South Cook County Pilot Study was referred to the Transportation Committee for a more detailed presentation. Commissioner Miller stated that the Public Meeting in the South Suburbs was well attended. Supt. Yonan explained that this 3 year Pilot Program is ready for implementation. The program has several goals, including modest service improvement and improved coordination with PACE, Metra, and CTA. Another benefit of the program should be facilitating access to employment. Yonan explained that Year 1 is the implementation phase. Years 2 & 3 are to evaluate the impact of improvements. (Agenda Item 19-4276)
Criminal Justice Committee - Charitable Bond Fund Commissioner Suffredin reported that the Criminal Justice Committee is waiting for responses from the State’s Attorney’s Office and from the County Clerk regarding questions of implementation of this program. The Committee will return with a completed proposal at the next meeting.
Observer - C. Cosentino Meeting Length - 2 hr. 25 min
Cook County Board Looks to Provide Tax Breaks for Families of First Responders Killed in the Line of Duty
Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting - July 25, 2019
Pre Meeting Press Conference:
As I stepped off the elevator there were many people in the lobby with lots of press coverage. Commissioner Daley was explaining an ordinance he hoped would pass at today’s meeting. 19-4797 is an ordinance allowing for property tax breaks for the families of First Responders who had perished in the line of duty. This ordinance did pass!
The meeting was called to order at about 10:15 AM with all 17 Commissioners present and on time. The gallery was packed with observers. 20 seats were reserved for guests of Commissioner Miller.
Items Approved by the Board:
Items That Were Sent to Committees:
Observer - Jan Goldberg
Mid-Year Budget Hearings of the Finance Committee of the Cook County Board
July 17 and 24, 2019
Over these 2 days, the Finance Committee (composed of all 17 members of the Board and chaired by John Daley) met with each elected official, bureau chief and major department head to go over the expected revenues and expenses at the end of the 2019 budget year (Nov. 30, 2019), and what was expected for 2020.
Highlights from these meetings:
Overall: It is expected that the County will end this fiscal year in the black, and no new taxes or fees will be needed to balance the budget for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year.
Cook County Health (CCH):
Chief Judge: Asked to respond to Chicago Supt. of Police’s claim that too many people are being arrested for violent crimes and being released on electronic monitoring, Chief Judge Timothy Evans provided these statistics:
Sheriff: Questions raised as to why, with significant reduction in daily jail population (from 11,000/d a few years ago to 5,600 to 5,900/d now) there hasn’t been more cost reductions in Sheriff’s budget for the jail.
Public Defender: While will not exceed budget for 2019, PD Amy Campanelli said that will be pushing for more money than President’s Office wants for 2020, in part to start an immigration unit with 4 new staff members. These would represent those charged with crimes (whom they are representing anyway in State courts in Cook County) at Federal immigration detention hearings. Cites statistic that have a 90% chance of no detention if have a lawyer and 90% chance of detention if do not. Would not work past detention hearing, but leave to pro bono immigration attorneys to handle the rest of Federal cases.
County Clerk (elections):
County Clerk and Recorder merger in December 2020:
Observer: Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board of Commissioners - Finance Committee Meeting
Mid-year Budget Review - July 17, 2019
What did the Board decide?
Several commissioners requested follow up numbers from Cook County Health (CCH) on a number of issues.
Debra Carey (in the absence of Dr. Shannon, CCH CEO) presented the review of the budget and stated there is a projected shortage of $103M this year. She said they expect to be able to eliminate the deficit. They just received a payment of $77M from Medicaid for County Care and the rest they hope to cover by budget tightening and not filling open positions. Charity care is up for the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This was blamed on a problem in Springfield because there is a backlog of eligibility determination and Medicaid is down 7%. The state is addressing this but it will take time.
It seems that coding and documentation is a big issue both for collecting revenue and the outside coding agencies are the delayed accounts payable cited by OIG. There was a lot of discussion on how this is being addressed.
Commissioner Tobolski asked if there is a structural deficit for the hospital and wants CCH to pay more attention to the business aspect.
Observer - Lisa Slankard Observed for 1 hour
Cook County Board of Commissioners - Committee Meetings - June 26, 2019
Human Relations Committee:
Human Rights Ordinance amendment - Amendment Passed.
(Agenda Item 19-3462 - sponsor K. Morrison)
Criminal Justice Committee:
Charitable Bond Fund Ordinance substitute. Substitute passed and final approval deferred to next Criminal Justice Committee meeting
(Agenda Item 19-0768 - sponsor Suffredin)
Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee:
Observed online by: Karin Hribar
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.