Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee Budget Hearing
October 24, 2023
Cook County Public Defender (Sharone R. Michell, Jr.)
2024 Total: $102.3 M 2023: $96.6 M
General Funds: $ 86.0 M 2023: $81.8 M
Special Purpose: $ 15.7 M 2023: $13.5 M
Restricted (Grants): $ 0.6 M 2023: $ 1.3 M
2024 Total FTEs: 831 2023: 810
General Funds: 823 2023: 791
Special Purpose: 5 2023: 6
Restricted (Grants) 3 2023: 13
Following are some key items from this meeting:
Observer: Priscilla Mims
Focus on Delays in Hiring and the New Pretrial Fairness Act at Cook County Board Budget Hearings - Property Tax Bills Expected to Be Issued by Thanksgiving
Cook County Finance Committee Meetings on the Budget
October 24, 2022, 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
Public Defender (“PD”) -- Presented by Public Defender Sherone R. Mitchell Jr.
2022 Proposed 2023
Budget 86.2 M 96.9 M
FTE 747 803
Mr. Mitchell’s main issue was the need to hire more attorneys so that the caseload for each lawyer can be reduced. Now it is above the average of other large city public defender offices. This office uses the County HR department, and it is taking 4-6 months from posting to start date for new attorneys. The PD has started an Immigration Unit Pilot program to help non-residents in immigration removal proceedings. The PD will establish a pretrial division to handle the extra work required by the Pretrial Fairness Act.
Commissioners Degnan and Gainer expressed concern about the length of time in the hiring process. Commissioner Gainer asked if the ARPA or Equity Funds could be utilized to help the situation. She also suggested the PD get its own HR hiring department like the State’s Attorney has. Commissioner Daily pointed out that the State’s Attorney was a separate office.
State’s Attorney -- Presented by Kim Foxx, State’s Attorney
2022 Proposed 2023
Budget 195.7 M 194.1 M
FTE 1,432 1,475
Ms. Foxx said the Office was ready for the Pretrial Fairness Act. She said that there has been a lot of mis-information about the law. Ms. Foxx is working with legislators to clarify the statute, and they hope to get the changes in during the veto session. The attrition in the Office is high but on a par with other State’s Attorney Offices. There are 107 vacancies out of 746 attorney positions. There are 237 total vacancies. It takes 3-4 weeks from job posting to a candidate starting.
Commissioner Gainer asked if there would be enough State’s Attorneys to handle the additional work required by the Pretrial Fairness Act. Commissioner Morrison asked how the process will be different in January. Ms. Foxx explained the changes and that the judge still has the power to hold an offender if he is a threat or a flight risk. Commissioner Morrison also asked Ms. Foxx to review the prosecution discretion policies that she has established in regard to retail theft and low-level drug offences. He also asked that she set up a commission with suburban police chiefs to discuss the policies, and she agreed to do that.
Commissioners Aguilar and Daley expressed concern about the high crime rate and its affect on the public. Ms. Foxx reviewed the high conviction rate of her office and said the issue is that there are low arrest rates.
Board of Review (“BOR”) -- Presented by Larry Rogers Jr. and Michael Carbonargi, two of the BOR Commissioners. Commissioner Tammy Wendt did not participate
2022 Proposed 2023
Budget 16 M 17.8 M
FTE 151 156
Mr. Rogers stated that the 2nd installment property tax bills will be issued by Thanksgiving and due by December 30th. He also stated that the BOR asked for an increase of 26 FTE, but were only approved 5 FTE. He said the appeals process for the BOR takes 10 months. Since they got the final township assessments in December instead of July last year, the tax bills were delayed for this year. Rogers expects the bills will be delayed next year, too. Mr. Rogers says that the BOR needs the extra staff to help with the processing delays.
Commissioner Dailey asked Finance Officer Annette Guzman to review the request for more staff. Commissioner Gainer asked about the progress in the adoption of the Tyler system and both Mr. Rogers and Mr. Carbonargi said she should ask the Bureau of Technology. Commissioner Daily pointed out that the BOR did not participate at the Technology Committee meeting last week. Mr. Rogers said they submitted an updated report.
Land Bank Authority --Presented by Director of the Land Bank Eleanor Gorski
2022 Proposed 2023
Budget 10.7 M 5.2 M
FTE 15 15
Ms. Gorski reviewed the activities of the Land Bank. 1200 properties were put back on the tax roles. The agency has a goal to reduce its aged inventory. It also has a grant of 5M from the Equity Fund to establish affordable housing on current Land Bank property. Commissioner Morrison asked who will make the decisions about those funds and it will be the Board of Directors of the Land Bank with community input.
Secretary to the Board of Commissioners -- Presented by Secretary Lynne Turner
2022 Proposed 2023
Budget 1.8 M 2.0 M
FTE 11 12
The office provides legislative support and information to County Offices and the public as well as maintains the County Archives and Records Office. There were over 1000 public comments to the Board meetings this year. They will begin closed-captioning of meetings and are exploring electronic voting, which is contingent on in-person meetings.
Observer: Kathi Graffam
Cook County Board Finance Committee
Departmental Budget Hearings: Day 2
October 26, 2021
Cook County Public Defender - presented by Sharone Mitchell and staff
Proposed 2022 Budget - $84,102,421 2021 Budget - $80,839,889
(Both include General Funds, Special Purpose Funds and Grant Funds)
Proposed 2022 - 750 FTEs 2021 - 700 FTEs
Presentation by Sharone Mitchell focused on 4 Challenges within the office.
Cook County Clerk - presented by Karen Yarborough
Proposed 2022 Budget - $76,502,087 2021 Budget - $56,472,352
(Includes Corporate Funds, Election Fund, Special Purpose Funds, Grant Funds)
2022 includes $8,823,854 allocated from the American Rescue Plan Special Purpose Fund
Proposed 2022 - 348 FTEs 2021 - 350 FTEs
Highlights of Presentation by Clerk Yarborough
Clerk of Circuit Court of Cook County - Presented by Iris Martinez and Staff
Proposed 2022 Budget - $125,285,335 2021 Budget - $120,480,906
(Includes General Funds, Special Purpose Funds and Grants)
2022 budget includes $4,345,794 allocated from the American Rescue Plan SP Fund
Proposed 2022 - 1479 FTEs 2021 Budget - 1386 FTEs
2022 includes 25 FTEs under the American Rescue Plan
Highlights of Presentation by Iris Martinez
Board of Review - Commissioners Larry Rogers, Michael Cabonargi, and Tammy Wendt
Proposed 2022 Budget - $15,686,657 2021 Budget - $14,072,527
2022 budget includes $1,064,256 allocated from the American Rescue Plan SP Fund
Proposed 2022 - 151 FTEs 2021 Budget - 142 FTEs
2022 includes 9 FTEs under the American Rescue Plan
Highlights of Presentation by Larry Rogers
Questions/Comments from the Cook County Board Commissioners
Item of Note:
Observer: Cynthia Schilsky
First Day of Cook County Board Mid-Year Budget Hearings Opens with Good News of Budget Surplus for 2021
Cook County Board Finance Committee Mid-year Budget Hearings
July 19, 2021
Presentations by Offices under the President, Public Administrator, Assessor, Secretary to the Board, and Public Defender
Highlights from the Presentations
Public Administrator - Lou Apostol
Assessor - Fritz Kaegi
Secretary to the Board - Matt Deleon
Public Defender - Sharone Mitchell Jr.
Observers - Pris Mims and Cynthia Schilsky
Cook County Board and Committee Meetings
March 17 and 18, 2021
The Board approved:
The Board referred to the Redistricting Committee:
Priscilla Mims - Observer
Cook County Board of Commissioners' Finance Committee
Midyear Budget Hearings - July 22, 2020
General information available from report online:
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.