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Civic Federation Lauds Preckwinkle’s County Budget Plan

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed 2012 budget is getting high marks from a noted government watchdog.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, to say Civic Federation president Laurence Msall is pleased with Preckwinkle’s $3 billion budget plan would be a bit of an understatement.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“We’re encouraged – one – that President Preckwinkle has met her campaign promise to deliver a budget in enough time for the County Board to act on it before the fiscal year begins. In recent history, we’ve had no real opportunities for the county to debate their finances for before the fiscal year began. So that’s a step in the right direction,” Msall said. “Two – she’s maintaining her campaign promise to roll back the sales tax. That’s important because it’s a painful situation, because the county has to right-size its employment.”

The budget plan calls for 1,000 layoffs, along with higher taxes on alcohol, tobacco, cars and boats. It is all part of an effort to cover a $315 million shortfall while rolling back half of what is left of a controversial sales tax hike implemented by former County Board President Todd Stroger.

The budget plan also calls for residents of unincorporated suburban Cook County to pay up for police protection provided by the Cook County sheriff’s office. Preckwinkle wants the 100,000 residents of unincorporated areas of the county to pay $150 per household for the police protection they now receive from the sheriff’s office.

Msall agreed that it’s high time for unincorporated residents to pay up for county sheriff’s protection.

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