Equity Fund, ARPA Proposals,Transgender Issues, COVID Update - All Considered by Cook County Commissioners at Committee Meetings
Cook County Board Committee Meetings
May 9 and 11, 2022
May 9 Finance Committee meeting –Equity Fund
May 11 Business & Economic Development Committee meeting – American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fund
May 11 Human Relations Committee meeting – Transgender Issues
May 11 Health & Hospitals Committee meeting – COVID Update
Allocations & Initiatives of The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Monies for 2022 Presented to Cook County Board
Cook County Board Of Commissioners Meeting
February 10, 2022-10:00 a.m.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding
In a presentation by the Chief Financial Officer, Ammar Rizki, and President Preckwinkle’s Chief of Staff, Lantana Hayes-Turner, the board heard how the County plans to allocate the $420 million dollars in ARPA funding received from the Federal Treasury.
The Board approved the following key items recommended by Committees:
Legislative and Intergovernment Affairs Committee:
Finance Committee: All items passed unanimously including Item 22-0841 calling for No Change in the tax levy for fiscal year 2022.
Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee Meeting of Feb. 9, 2022 Report
Observers: Diane Edmundson, Amber Elmer, Pris Mims
Cook County Board and Finance Committee Meetings
November 18, 2021
Prior to the Board meeting at which the budget was unanimously passed, the Finance Committee met and unanimously passed all proposed 19 amendments, which added $72.7 Million to the original $8.08 B proposal from President Preckwinkle. Following are the main changes (most of which do not add any additional amounts to the total budget, but simply reallocate money):
In the only public comments at the Board meeting, the Civic Federation expressed its support for the proposed budget, praising the President and Board for all the steps they have taken over the years to
Observer - Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board Finance Committee
Departmental Budget Meeting
State’s Attorney - Presented by Kimberly Foxx
Proposed 2022 Budget: $187,870,209 2021 Budget: $176,029.324
2022 includes $526,335 from the American Rescue Plan Special Purpose Fund
Proposed 2022 FTEs: 1,432 2021 FTEs: 1397.4
Highlights: 2021 Initiatives and Outcomes
Operational Opportunities: 2022 Initiatives and Goals
State’s Attorney Foxx’s Remarks
Foxx suggests that there are misunderstandings and even misinformation about how and when felony charges occur in Cook County. She explains the procedure:
Q Do you have any problem hiring staff?
A We do well in hiring. We target law students. There are challenges:
Q How is your budget striking the balance to help people feel safe but not criminalizing members of the community?
A We prioritize crimes of violence. In the past, resources were going to shoplifting and drug cases. For the last four years, we have focused on gun offenses. Narcotics cases have shrunk because these should be diverted to treatment. This allows more resources to go to violent crime.
Q There was a gunfight recently in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. There was a video. Why was no one charged? The mayor used the term “mutual combatants,” indicating that both sides of the incident should be arrested. Should they have been?
A The video did not capture the beginning of the conflict. Under the law, people do have the right to defend themselves—and so the beginning is important. In this instance, all of the witnesses said, “I want a lawyer.” The police and we agreed that we had not enough evidence. The mayor’s remarks were disappointing. Frustration cannot lead us to make bad choices.
Q How can we help address mental health needs?
A Too many mentally ill people are in jail. The felony review team sees that these are mental health situations. But when people go to Mental Health Court, they get more entangled in the system than they need to be. People should be deflected out of the system entirely. But the SA doesn’t have a mechanism to do that--we need robust treatment so that they don’t come to us at all. We have not been thoughtful about the role of trauma and mental health in gun violence. Children who suffer trauma have no access to social workers, therapy. They feel they are better off with a weapon. But a child with a gun easily overreacts, leading to tragedy. Our strategies have not been proactive but reactive We need to figure out how to bring services on the front end.
Q What about the budget for dealing with carjackings?
A The PA office cannot do anything until the police bring cases to them. The case-clearing by the police for carjackings is only about 12%.
Observer - Janet Kittlaus
Cook County Board Finance Committee
Departmental Budget Hearings
Oct. 26, 2021
The meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. was held at 10:30 due to CCH scheduling issues. It continued until 1:15 for 2 hours and 45 minutes due to commissioner questioning and compliments.
Cook County Health - presented by CEO Israel Rocha and former Interim Budget Officer, Andrea Gibson
Proposed 2022 Budget: $ 3.889 Billion 2021 Budget: $3.388 Billion
Proposed 2022 FTEs: 7,560 2021 FTEs: 6,803
CEO Rocha’s comments
Both internal and external factors were considered in developing the 2022 budget; and while he stated that this is a conservative budget, he also stated that is has taken into consideration the importance of meeting the needs of patients, staff, and growth challenges. Health Equity runs through all budget allocations.
Diane Edmundson - Observer
Cook County Board Finance Committee
Departmental Budget Hearings:
October 27, 2021
This report covers the meetings with the Chief Judge and the Land Bank.
Chief Judge presented by Honorable Tim Evans
Proposed 2022 Budget: $287,915,856 2021 Budget: $273,508,315
(2022 includes $1.9 M from American Rescue Plan funds)
Proposed 2022 FTEs: 2,906.6 2021 FTEs: 2,872.6
(2022 includes 29 FTEs from American Rescue Plan funds)
The Chief Judge’s office is the administrative office serving the Circuit Court of Cook County. The office supervises non-judicial employees who provide a wide range of services including judicial support, probation, guardianship, Juvenile Detention, clinical and other support.
The Chief Judge stated that the Chief Judges Office is more than hearings in Court and emphasized the good work they are doing with the money that they are given. Some of the highlighted offices under the Chief Judge include:
Chief Judge Evans will submit 2 amendments to the Chief Judge’s budget:
Land Bank Authority presented by Eleanor Gorski, Executive Director
Proposed 2022 Budget: 15,020,440 2021 Budget: 15,232,149
Proposed FTEs: 13 2021 FTES: 12
The Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) will acquire, hold, and transfer interest in real property throughout Cook County to promote redevelopment and reuse of vacant, abandoned, foreclosed, or tax delinquent properties, and support targeted efforts to stabilize neighborhoods.
Executive Director Gorski began her job in August of 2021.
CCLBA Outlook for 2022 that will keep administrative costs flat. Some of the highlights include:
Observer: Nancy Marcus
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.