Cook County 2023 Budget Hearings Begin with Commissioners Focusing on Oversight Of ARPA and Equity Fund Spending
Cook County Finance Committee Meetings on the Budget
October 24, 2022, 10 am to 12:30 pm
During the overview of the proposed 2023 budget by the Bureau of Finance and the presentation concerning the Offices under the President, Commissioners Daley, Degnen, Gainer, and Miller focused on the need for an independent evaluation of the programs being funded by the Equity Fund (funds from the County) and by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA funds from the Federal government). The Commissioners suggested regular meetings (quarterly or every two months) to get status reports and to have opportunities for the public to weigh in. The Commissioners noted that the $1 Billion in ARPA funds provides the County with an unprecedented opportunity to make lasting positive changes. But the Commissioners said that there will undoubtedly be ways to improve and the County needs to identify those sooner rather than later. In that regard, Commissioner Degnen suggested there might be a possible budget amendment to add 1 to 2 FTEs to the County Auditor department.
Bureau of Finance/Budget Overview - Presented by Interim CFO Lawrence Wilson, Budget Director Annette Guzman, and Deputy CFO Dean Constantinou.
Overall budget is $8.75 B (including Capital and Grant funds)
The General Fund portion of the Overall budget of $1.97B is slightly less than 2022. The projected increase in sales tax revenues partly offsets the transfer of Transportation Home Rule Taxes from the General Fund to a Special Purpose Fund and the transfer of Canabis Taxes to the Equity Special Purpose Fund.
The Health Enterprise Fund portion of the Total Overall Budget is $3.99 B. a 3% increase over 2022.
There are also Special Purpose Funds that make up the Overall Budget. The presentation focused on 4 of these:
The County is doing long-term fiscal planning, and projections thru 2027 are that the General Fund revenues are expected to keep pace with expenses and that the Health Fund revenues will be just short of expenses.
Under the County’s Fund Balance Policy, the County is using the amount in excess of 3 months of General Fund expenditures to assign $231 M to the Pension Stabilization Fund, Self-Insurance Fund Reserve, Cook County Health Reserve Fund, the Infrastructure and Equipment Fund, and the Equity Fund, along with $30 M to spend in 2023 in the General Fund.
The County is also starting to plan for how to determine what ARPA funded programs should continue after 2026 and how to fund them.
Offices under the President - Presented by the President’s Chief of Staff, Lanetta Haynes Turner
The Offices include the
Office of the Public Administrator - Presented by the Public Administrator Louis G. Apostol
Observer - Priscilla Mims
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