Resident's Guide
to the Cook County Budget

*Amounts in this guide reflect FY2018 Executive Recommendation and FY2018 Annual Appropriation.

What Services Does the County Offer?

Public Health

Promoting healthy families through access to community-based care.
The Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) offers emergency, ambulatory and preventive care at two public hospitals and a network of 16 community health centers throughout the County. Additionally, CountyCare, CCHHS’ managed care plan, covers approximately 330,000 residents.

Public Safety

Building safe and thriving communities.
The Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Public Defender, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and Chief Judge enforce public safety measures and administer the County court system. Strategic reforms in the criminal justice system protect communities by ensuring violent offenders are detained while non-violent offenders are not kept from work or families just because they can’t afford bail.

Finance and Administration

Managing and conserving County assets.
The Bureau of Asset Management upgrades and preserves County real estate, the Bureau of Finance manages County funds and debt, and central government service functions.

Economic Development

Investing in people and regional growth.
The Bureau of Economic Development encourages collaborative, regional growth and workforce development through tax incentives, federal grants, job fairs, expediting intermodal transportation and foreign direct investment.

Property Assessment and Taxation

Collecting revenue to fund County Government.
The Assessor, Treasurer, and Clerk assess and collect property taxes to fund the core services of County government. The Clerk also manages vital records such as birth certificates, death certificates and marriage licenses, and facilitates elections in suburban Cook County.

Where Does the Money for the Budget Come From?

Cook County Revenue Sources (in Millions)

County revenues do not grow on pace with expenditures, and
expenditures grow faster than inflation, dominated by personnel costs.

Where Do the Dollars Go?

Cook County Operating Budget by Office

Cook County Operating Budget by Service

What Guides the Executive Budget Recommendation?

Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed FY2018 executive budget focuses on making Cook County healthier, safer and more efficient by:
  • Promoting long-term fiscal sustainability, addressing legacy liabilities and preserving essential public safety and health services;
  • Shrinking Cook County government’s real estate footprint, sustaining workforce reductions and eliminating redundant programs;
  • Fostering a justice system that reduces pretrial detention and recidivism by investing in violence prevention programs, electronic monitoring, I-bonds, as well as probationary and pretrial services;
  • Investing in transportation infrastructure to maintain regional competitiveness;
  • Modernizing delivery of services through technology infrastructure to streamline operations across agencies and allow residents to engage with County government electronically; and
  • Improving public health outcomes by expanding Medicaid coverage and investing in outpatient services to all County residents, regardless of need.

Key FY2018 Figures

$5.36 billion   The proposed budget total, including capital and grant funds. 

$4 billion   The operating budget for the County’s general expenditures. 

90 percent   Approximately, of the County’s operating budget goes toward public health and public safety services.

$35.5 million   Proposed expenditure reductions, with no proposed cuts in core services.

$115 million   
The closed preliminary gap, the smallest since President Preckwinkle took office. 

$67.8 million 
 Projected revenue increases, a majority of which come from anticipated CountyCare membership growth from 140,000 members to 225,000 through strategic acquisitions and Illinois Medicaid managed care system realignment.

Continuing Progress Since 2010

Cook County Health and Hospitals System Tax Allocation
($ in millions)

Since 2010, CCHHS has reduced the amount of taxpayer funding by 77% by expanding preventive and ambulatory care, upgrading community health centers, and expanding CountyCare.

Reduction in Full-Time Employees

The County has generated substantial savings through personnel reductions since 2010, and achieved a 1% reduction from FY2017 to FY2018.

Structural Savings

Sustained Jail Population Reduction

The jail population has consistently declined since September 2013 and as of December 2017 had fewer than 6,000 detainees.

Insurance Status of CCHHS Patients

With the expansion of CountyCare, the number of insured CCHHS patients has risen steadily since 2012