Cook County Board Approves $8.8 Billion Budget

Cook County Board Approves $8.8 Billion Budget
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Cook County Board Approves $8.8 Billion Budget (Cook County, IL) — The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved an $8.8 billion FY2023 budget which includes millions in funding for equity programs and pandemic relief without increasing taxes or cutting essential services. The budget passed overwhelmingly 16-0, which followed a month of departmental hearings, commissioner questions and public meetings.

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“Our 2023 budget makes a historic investment in communities and in people directly. Thanks in large part to the American Rescue Plan, we will both maintain critical services and advance transformative initiatives that will have long-lasting impacts in people’s lives,” said President Preckwinkle. “We are in this position to do a lot of good because we have avoided quick fixes in previous budgets. We have instilled financial discipline, implemented meaningful structural changes and continued to put the County on a sustainable path.”

Preckwinkle noted that the County was able to close an $18.2 million budget gap, the lowest gap in her tenure as President, without the need for raising new taxes. In addition, the Cook County Board recently voted to eliminate the Wheel Tax.

In the coming year, Cook County will continue implementation of critical projects funded in FY2023 with nearly a quarter of the billion dollars from its American Rescue Plan Act allocation from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Preckwinkle provided a snapshot of some of the many programs that are moving forward in this budget and future years using federal relief funding:

  • $42 million for a guaranteed income pilot to administer $500 dollars per month for two years to 3,250 households in Cook County.
  • $12 million of federal funds to potentially negotiate the purchase of hundreds of millions of dollars in medical debt for Cook County residents and cancel it.
  • $111 million dollar investment in behavioral health which was identified as one of the top priorities by Cook County residents.
  • $71 million investment in small businesses, which will provide more than 7,000 businesses with $10,000 grants in a range of business support areas.
  • $20 million dollars in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for the Stormwater Management Program.
  • $20 million dollar project to improve infrastructure and provide critical capital upgrades to municipalities across Cook County.
  • $14.1 million dollars in federal funding to expand the County’s homeless response system for Cook County Health patients.
  • $10 million initiative for the Neighborhood Revitalization Brownfield Remediation program to assess and remediate contaminated brownfield sites in suburban Cook County.

Through its Equity Fund, the County will also invest over $70 million this year and next to create safe, healthy and thriving communities in Cook County. Initiatives supported by the Equity Fund aim to reimagine and transform systems around justice, public safety, health, housing, economic opportunity, community development and social services.

Preckwinkle also called attention to the fact that Cook County has provided supplemental pension payments of over $2 billion dollars above the required contribution since 2016, significantly reducing the unfunded pension liability and allowing the Cook County Pension Fund to keep its assets invested and take advantage of good market performance.

All FY2023 budget information is now posted to the Cook County website, allowing the public to review documents and engage with the President’s Office directly. An interactive budget website is also available providing historic financial data and detailed budget information.

Cook County Board Approves $8.8 Billion Budget

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Monica Gordon for Cook County Commissioner

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