Cook County Releases Preliminary Budget Estimates
In July, the Preckwinkle administration released its preliminary budget estimates. The anticipated budget gap is $18.7 million, significantly smaller than the $487 million gap in 2011. Unlike past years, the gap will likely be closed without introducing new fees or taxes. Also, unlike past years, the county is expected to end its fiscal year with a $14 million surplus.
Past budget reductions include:
- Reducing personnel cost by laying off approximately 1,500 county workers
- Eliminating vacant positions
- Refinancing debt
- 15 percent across-the-board budget cuts
Cook County’s budget process kicks off in July and continues through November. The process includes:
County Department heads testify on the budget
County Department heads finalize their budget requests
County board analyzes and votes on the budget
Unlike Cook County government, the Health and Hospital System is facing a $103 million budget gap. The Health and Hospital System will also begin its budget process later this summer.