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CONNECT WITH SEAN

Headlines

May 17th, 2016

March 17, 2016

By: Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
Chicago Tribune

A new law that aims to curb the area’s dismal youth unemployment rate gives companies vying for Cook County contracts a leg up if they hire teens.

The ordinance, which the Cook County Board approved last week, gives companies bid credits if a substantial amount of work on a project is performed by youth aged 16 to 19.

Bidders for county contracts get a 0.5 percent credit to apply to a future contract bid if teens perform more than 10 percent of the labor hours on a county project with a value of at least $100,000, and a 0.25 percent credit if teens perform 1 to 10 percent of the labor hours.

So, for example, a company with a $1 million bid on a county project would appear on paper to have a $950,000 bid with the youth credit, helping it undercut the competition. The credit would be used for evaluation purposes only and not affect the actual price of the project. A credit can be used only once to nail the lowest bid, with the intention that companies will continue to employ youth to accrue more credits.

“The purpose is to (offer an incentive to) people as they put together their employment plan,” said Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago, who co-sponsored the legislation with Sean Morrison, R-Palos Park.

Such bid incentives already exist for companies that hire military veterans and people who have been convicted of crimes.

A dramatic decline in employment among young people has led to concerns that a generation is not getting the early work experience that research has shown leads to better jobs and higher wages down the road.

The employment rate among 16- to 19-year-olds in Cook County was 20.4 percent in 2014, down from 27.5 percent in 2005, and nearly 10 percentage points lower than the national average, according to a March report prepared for the county by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The recession took a particularly hard toll on youth, who had to compete for entry-level positions with older and more experienced workers who lost their jobs, and they have seen little recovery.

In Cook County, the rate of youth who are both out of work and out of school has been particularly startling, especially when broken down by race. More than 12 percent of black 16- to 19-year-olds are neither in school nor working, compared with 8.9 percent of Hispanics and 5.6 percent of whites, according to the Great Cities Institute report. Among 20- to 24-year-olds, nearly 40 percent of blacks are out of school and out of work, compared with nearly 15 percent of Hispanics and 8 percent of whites.

The Cook County bid incentive applies only to 16- to 19-year-olds in order to follow established definitions of youth in state workforce programs, Gainer said. It does not require companies to hire youth from certain income brackets or racial groups.

While construction contractors are often in line for county projects, Gainer said “the sky’s the limit” for the types of jobs youth can fill, including custodial and landscaping. She pointed to the board’s approval last week of a $100 million construction agreement for renovation of the county hospital system. Because hospital revenues depend on people renewing their Medicare eligibility, young people could be hired to do community outreach.

“Sometimes we assume a job will require a college degree,” Gainer said. “Have you asked yourself why? Is it really an issue, or just habit?”

Employers will have to verify workers’ age via their birth certificates, track their hours and submit the information to the county with an affidavit, Gainer said.

Palos Park’s Maureen Reilly receives the 17th District’s 2016 Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroine Award for her Volunteer Efforts at Park Lawn

March 4, 2016

Chicago, IL – The Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues held their annual breakfast on Thursday, March 3rd at the Chicago Cultural Center where they recognized women from each county board district for their “Unsung Heroine” efforts in their communities. Honorees from each county board district and one at-large are nominated for the significant contributions they have made to the well-being of their community in either a professional or volunteer capacity for which they have not received widespread recognition. 

Commissioner Morrison and 17th District Commission Member Sharon Brannigan were pleased to nominate Maureen Reilly of Palos Park for her outstanding volunteer efforts at Park Lawn. Founded in 1955, Park Lawn is a non-profit organization based in Oak Lawn with a mission to provide services that promote independence, choice and access to community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Maureen Reilly has been involved with Park Lawn since 2006 when her son began receiving adult services from the organization. Maureen has served as the Costume Director at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for the past 16 years and an employee since 1987. She began helping at Park Lawn by providing costumes and props for the Park Lawn Player’s Club annual show, participating in tag days, and volunteering in whatever other capacity needed.

Maureen became a board member in 2009, vice president in 2014 and president in 2015. In Park Lawn’s 60 year history, Maureen is the first woman board president and she has helped to strengthen relationships with local legislators by helping to form a Political Action Committee. 

Maureen and her husband Charlie are residents of Palos Park and are proud to be a part of the Park Lawn family and share the same passion to see all people in the disabled community flourish and be as independent as they can be.

“I’m very proud to honor a person of such quality as Maureen Reilly. Her volunteer work at Park Lawn is precisely the type of effort that deserves special recognition because you can’t place a price on it. It truly is invaluable,” stated Commissioner Morrison.

Morrison Opposes Attempt to Restrict 2nd Amendment (Letter to the Editor)

February 5, 2016

The Cook County Board of Commissioners has a proposed ordinance before it for consideration, one which will attempt to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens in Cook County. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin of Chicago has proposed an ordinance which calls for the “prohibitions on the sale of firearm to, and purchase of firearm by, a person not covered by appropriate liability insurance.”  What this means is that Cook County residents would not be able to purchase and own a firearm without first acquiring firearm liability insurance. 

Now some people may look at this and say, “This doesn’t sound too bad” until you analyze the actual consequences of this proposal. The sponsor and others would like to compare firearm liability insurance to having car insurance, which is like comparing apples to oranges.  A right granted by the 2nd Amendment allows United States citizens to possess and own a firearm, period. Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege granted by State law, not a right covered under the United States Constitution.

The intention of the ordinance’s sponsor is to have a major impact on gun violence. An admirable thought, however if you are intellectually honest you must ask yourself; how will this ordinance have any impact on gun-wielding criminals? The honest answer is it won’t. It’s a patently false and purely emotional notion to think that violent criminals who are already breaking the law will stop and contemplate the purchase of firearm liability insurance before committing their next crime with a gun. Moreover, nearly all insurance policy coverage excludes criminal acts from their insurance coverage obligation. So the liability insurance would serve no purpose in addressing gun violence.

Along with this proposed ordinance come many unintended consequences. Requiring firearm liability insurance will have a negative financial impact on law-abiding citizens; specifically those who live in the higher crime zones will pay a more costly premium than the citizens living in low crime zones. Disarming law-abiding citizens or setting them up to break the law are very real consequences.

In addition, if this questionable ordinance were to be passed, litigation would certainly follow in opposition to its constitutionality, the consequence yet again, a very long and costly legal defense for the Cook County taxpayers to bear! There is a reason why this type of legislation has failed nearly everywhere it has been introduced across the country.

This proposed ordinance will not address violent criminal behavior as its intended, but will instead restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. In my opinion, this is another unconstitutional overreach by government which I strongly oppose.

We need to focus our efforts on real preventative measures, those that are truly substantive in nature and that will deter individuals away from crime. We can do so by beginning to promote strong family structure, by supporting the concept of the community members turning in those known criminals who murder our children and murder our neighbors and through increasing educational and employment opportunities. Preventing criminal behavior must be the driving force to addressing violent crime, rather than ineffective legislation place upon the citizen taxpayer without regard to consequence.

Sean M. Morrison
Cook County Commissioner
17th District

Commissioner Morrison and Cook County Board close out 2015 with the passage of several reform initiatives.

December 29, 2015

Chicago, IL – It’s been a busy five months for Commissioner Sean Morrison since taking office on July 22. The Cook County Board of Commissioners closed out the 2015 calendar year with the passage of three important reform-minded initiatives at their recent December 16 board meeting.

Commissioner Morrison brought with him to the board an extensive business background and made fiscal responsibility and innovative reform key pillars of his agenda. He also made it a top priority to meet with every Cook County department, agency and county elected official to learn the fiscal scope and operational structure of every area of county government.

“Having worked closely with the administration over the last several months, I’m very pleased to see these three initiatives passed and look forward to their implementation as it will move Cook County government in the right direction of reform, efficiency and consolidation,” remarked Commissioner Morrison.

The board approved the $2.3 million purchase of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to facilitate communications between the different software applications used by each of the County’s justice agencies: Chief Judge, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Public Defender, Sheriff, State’s Attorney and the Cook County Bureau of Technology, which operates under the Office of County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. The Bureau of Technology was given approval by the Board for the implementation of ESB software and hardware, as well as development and managed services for data exchanges among County criminal justice agencies.

As Vice Chair of the Technology & Innovation Committee, Commissioner Morrison sees consolidation and modernization of IT services as critical to raising efficiencies and cutting long-term costs for county government. And, he sees the ESB as a significant step which will improve communications and data exchanges between multiple county agencies while providing significant cost savings.

A new ordinance approved by the county board will require businesses that store hazardous chemicals such as acids, solvents and other highly toxic chemicals to report the type of substance in the facility, the location of the chemicals and how the chemicals are stored. This information will provide a measure of safety for nearby residents and first responders. The information collected will be kept by the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and will be available to first responders.

Upon its approval, Commissioner Morrison said, “This ordinance is a very important public safety issue for our communities and our first responders who many times walk into an unknown location which presents a very dangerous and life-threatening situation as we saw recently with the tragic loss of Chicago Firefighter Daniel Capuano.”

The third item approved at the December board meeting involves the county reducing and streamlining its vehicle fleet operations and creating a more efficient system of vehicle purchase, use and maintenance that will save taxpayers money. President Preckwinkle’s administration will now partner with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office on vehicle maintenance with a more efficient system to save money and promote use of ‘green’ vehicles. The Sheriff’s Office will now maintain and service all county passenger vehicles.

The three reform initiatives passed in December come on the heels of the November 18 passage of the FY2016 Cook County Budget which included four new taxes which was in addition to the 1% Sales Tax increase passed in mid-July just prior to Commissioner Morrison’s appointment to the board.

After several weeks of budget hearings and negotiations, the FY2016 Budget was passed but with significant opposition. “It was my goal to see the county budget passed without any new taxes but unfortunately that was not the case. That’s why I could not support it. Those targeted businesses will now face an additional financial burden which in my view is not beneficial to the long term health of our county’s economy,” Morrison concluded.

According to Morrison, raising taxes can no longer be the primary remedy to addressing fiscal matters because creating new tax revenue streams inevitably leads to new spending.  He believes the path to fiscal stability needs to be built squarely around strong fiscal reform policies across all areas of Cook County government along with fostering a positive economic environment where businesses can thrive.

As 2016 arrives, Commissioner Morrison is looking forward to working with his county board colleagues, President Preckwinkle and her administration to continue to create new and innovative reforms and establish more quantifiable measures to move Cook County government in the right fiscal direction.

Commissioner Morrison and Cook County Board close out 2015 with the passage of several reform initiatives.

December 29, 2015

Chicago, IL – It’s been a busy five months for Commissioner Sean Morrison since taking office on July 22. The Cook County Board of Commissioners closed out the 2015 calendar year with the passage of three important reform-minded initiatives at their recent December 16 board meeting.

Commissioner Morrison brought with him to the board an extensive business background and made fiscal responsibility and innovative reform key pillars of his agenda. He also made it a top priority to meet with every Cook County department, agency and county elected official to learn the fiscal scope and operational structure of every area of county government.

“Having worked closely with the administration over the last several months, I’m very pleased to see these three initiatives passed and look forward to their implementation as it will move Cook County government in the right direction of reform, efficiency and consolidation,” remarked Commissioner Morrison.

The board approved the $2.3 million purchase of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to facilitate communications between the different software applications used by each of the County’s justice agencies: Chief Judge, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Public Defender, Sheriff, State’s Attorney and the Cook County Bureau of Technology, which operates under the Office of County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. The Bureau of Technology was given approval by the Board for the implementation of ESB software and hardware, as well as development and managed services for data exchanges among County criminal justice agencies.

As Vice Chair of the Technology & Innovation Committee, Commissioner Morrison sees consolidation and modernization of IT services as critical to raising efficiencies and cutting long-term costs for county government. And, he sees the ESB as a significant step which will improve communications and data exchanges between multiple county agencies while providing significant cost savings.

A new ordinance approved by the county board will require businesses that store hazardous chemicals such as acids, solvents and other highly toxic chemicals to report the type of substance in the facility, the location of the chemicals and how the chemicals are stored. This information will provide a measure of safety for nearby residents and first responders. The information collected will be kept by the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and will be available to first responders.

Upon its approval, Commissioner Morrison said, “This ordinance is a very important public safety issue for our communities and our first responders who many times walk into an unknown location which presents a very dangerous and life-threatening situation as we saw recently with the tragic loss of Chicago Firefighter Daniel Capuano.”

The third item approved at the December board meeting involves the county reducing and streamlining its vehicle fleet operations and creating a more efficient system of vehicle purchase, use and maintenance that will save taxpayers money. President Preckwinkle’s administration will now partner with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office on vehicle maintenance with a more efficient system to save money and promote use of ‘green’ vehicles. The Sheriff’s Office will now maintain and service all county passenger vehicles.

The three reform initiatives passed in December come on the heels of the November 18 passage of the FY2016 Cook County Budget which included four new taxes which was in addition to the 1% Sales Tax increase passed in mid-July just prior to Commissioner Morrison’s appointment to the board.

After several weeks of budget hearings and negotiations, the FY2016 Budget was passed but with significant opposition. “It was my goal to see the county budget passed without any new taxes but unfortunately that was not the case. That’s why I could not support it. Those targeted businesses will now face an additional financial burden which in my view is not beneficial to the long term health of our county’s economy,” Morrison concluded.

According to Morrison, raising taxes can no longer be the primary remedy to addressing fiscal matters because creating new tax revenue streams inevitably leads to new spending.  He believes the path to fiscal stability needs to be built squarely around strong fiscal reform policies across all areas of Cook County government along with fostering a positive economic environment where businesses can thrive.

As 2016 arrives, Commissioner Morrison is looking forward to working with his county board colleagues, President Preckwinkle and her administration to continue to create new and innovative reforms and establish more quantifiable measures to move Cook County government in the right fiscal direction.

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COMMISSIONER SEAN MORRISON STATEMENT ON CHICAGO VACCINE MANDATE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

The vaccine mandate implemented this week by Mayor Lori Lightfoot against Chicago’s police officers, firefighters and paramedics is undoubtedly short-minded and reckless. Violent crime is strangling the city. Murders, shootings, carjackings, strong-armed robberies and violent assaults weigh heavily on the minds of nearly every Chicagoan right now. People throughout the city, regardless of neighborhood, do not feel safe.

To strip the police and fire departments of critical staffing will very likely create an avalanche of more crime and leave the most vulnerable residents in need of emergency services in greater danger. Why? Because the criminals are paying close attention. They know less police officers mean more criminal opportunities, and when our residents need an ambulance or firetruck, who will be there to answer their call for help?

The police and fire departments can’t afford to lose a single police officer, firefighter, or paramedic at this most critical time for the city. Mayor Lightfoot’s heavy-handed and bullying decision to arbitrarily prioritize a vaccine mandate against first responders over protecting the public’s safety is a dereliction of duty.

What Chicago needs right now is clear-minded pragmatic leadership to solve this impasse. Not the current leadership drowned in petty vindictiveness. Let’s hope an amicable resolution will be found. One that will allow our first responders to continue to do what they do best:

Save lives.
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COMMISSIONER SEAN MORRISON STATEMENT ON CHICAGO VACCINE MANDATE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS 

The vaccine mandate implemented this week by Mayor Lori Lightfoot against Chicago’s police officers, firefighters and paramedics is undoubtedly short-minded and reckless. Violent crime is strangling the city. Murders, shootings, carjackings, strong-armed robberies and violent assaults weigh heavily on the minds of nearly every Chicagoan right now. People throughout the city, regardless of neighborhood, do not feel safe.
 
To strip the police and fire departments of critical staffing will very likely create an avalanche of more crime and leave the most vulnerable residents in need of emergency services in greater danger. Why? Because the criminals are paying close attention. They know less police officers mean more criminal opportunities, and when our residents need an ambulance or firetruck, who will be there to answer their call for help?
 
The police and fire departments can’t afford to lose a single police officer, firefighter, or paramedic at this most critical time for the city. Mayor Lightfoot’s heavy-handed and bullying decision to arbitrarily prioritize a vaccine mandate against first responders over protecting the public’s safety is a dereliction of duty.
 
What Chicago needs right now is clear-minded pragmatic leadership to solve this impasse. Not the current leadership drowned in petty vindictiveness. Let’s hope an amicable resolution will be found. One that will allow our first responders to continue to do what they do best:

Save lives.Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

Recall her! The people of Chicago, the aldermen, need to start a petition, get the required signatures and get her out. The city is going down in flames and she keeps adding fuel to the fire!

I wish this was a simple as “bullying“. To basically threaten the livelihood of first responders and their families by taking away their pay is tantamount to putting a gun to their head and robbing them.

Lighthead was too busy enjoying herself at the victory parade for the Chicago Sky.

Well said, Commissioner!

The other thing that’s not mentioned is the constant bashing in the media along with policies that demoralize the current police officer left on the job. This is creating animosity and bitterness for those who are still working on the job. A lot are considering leaving the job.

She’s horrible ! Everytime a Democommie is in they ruin the city!

What's the solution I see everyone has a problem with this what's the solution I don't mean a political solution I mean the best scientific solution

The shot is very vital and can help with the fight against the virus. Especially, if you have a Comorbity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, renal disease, cancer, chronic pain, COPD or any respiratory issues. I previously worked at Cook County Hospital in Medical Management and not 1 person on my caseload had Covid who was vaccinated. Every single person was unvaccinated. As a result, that was enough for me to advocate and ensure everyone in my family got vaccinated. That disease did lots of harm and all the families who loved one got it regretted not having the shot, however it was simply too late.

🔥 SOLUTION: Don't MANDATE anyone's health decisions! 🔥 YOU'RE WELCOME...

There is no Federal or State law on the books! It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!! HOLD THE LINE! THERE WILL BE JUSTICE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

That's what you get voting in an incompetent, angry little woman.

Lori Light-in-the-head.

She was getting her hair cut

Where was she when they worked non stop last year before the vaccine? The vaccine doesn’t work, causes numerous health issues and many first responders have natural immunity from already being infected. America is tired of these ridiculous mandates, our body, our choice.

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