November 3, 2011
The Civic Federation supports the Cook County FY2012 Executive Budget Recommendation totaling $2.9 billion. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed $2.2 billion General Fund budget is a 4.6%, or $107.4 million, decrease from the FY2011 adopted budget. The budget closes a $315.2 million shortfall with $219 million in spending cuts, $53 million in revenue enhancements and over 1,000 layoffs. The County administration also appears to be on a path towards significant reform of governmental operations, as recommended by the Civic Federation in its Cook County Modernization report.
However, the Civic Federation is concerned about the County’s long-term structural deficit. Addressing the structural deficit will require additional operational reforms, which will likely include further staffing reductions. To drive this process in a rational and transparent way, the County needs to develop a long-range financial plan that addresses the County’s cost drivers, stabilizes skyrocketing pension obligations and increases the efficiency of service delivery.