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Cook County budget unanimously passes

On Nov. 24, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a balanced $6.94-billion FY2021 budget aimed at advancing Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's work on criminal justice reform, public health, infrastructure and economic development without the need to increase existing taxes.

The unanimous 17-0 vote approving the budget followed a month of departmental hearings, commissioner questions and public meetings.

In a statement, it was noted that Preckwinkle closed a $222.2-million gap in the general fund. The county reduced expenditures by eliminating 569 vacant full-time equivalent positions. The county's position count is now under 22,000 employees for the first time since Preckwinkle took office.

In a separate statement sent to Windy City Times, openly gay Commissioner Kevin Morrison said, "I could not be prouder of the 2021 Cook County budget. We went into this fiscal cycle facing a gap of more than $400 million due to the coronavirus pandemic. We had to make tough decisions. But we were nimble and worked hard, and we closed the gap."

All FY2021 budget information has been posted to the Cook County website (https:// Article Link Here ;, allowing the public to review documents and engage with the President's Office directly.

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