Preckwinkle Delivers 2021 Budget Proposal
In October, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled her $6.9 billion proposed budget. Her proposal does not propose new or increased taxes to fund the gap but instead relies on fee increases, not filling vacant positions, and reserves.
- Fees will be increased to the tune of two million
- Leave over 650 positions vacant
- Laying off over 100 people at the health system
- Over $75 million in reserves
- Tax revenue from online sales
- Tax revenue from marijuana and sports betting
Preckwinkle’s budget plan calls for the closure of the South Shore Clinic and Woodlawn Clinics. Preckwinkle claims that it’s a move designed to improve services and to funnel patients to Provident rather than to save funds. Despite the anticipated additional patients, Preckwinkle’s proposal reduces the staff at Provident.
The largest stress on Cook County’s finances is the health system. County staff estimates that the system will have to provide nearly $600 million in medical care through its CountyCare Program. CountyCare accounts for nearly a third of the health system’s budget.
But, long-term, the outlook for Cook County’s finances is bleak. The county projects the deficit to hit about $377 million by 2025, mostly fueled by losses at the health system.
The county will hold a series of meetings on the budget prior to its implementation on December 1. Cook County Farm Bureau® will monitor the discussions and provide comments and feedback when necessary.