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***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

17th District, Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison proposes financial remedy for local governments who face revenue shortfall from delayed second installment of property taxes

April 1, 2022 - A very real financial crisis could soon hit every government taxing body in Cook County. That’s because the Cook County Assessor’s Office could delay the second installment of the Cook County Real Estate Taxes up to six months and possibly into the first quarter of 2023. This delay in over $16 billion dollars in second half bills will force local government bodies to either draw down their reserves or borrow money with interest. This will have a massive financial impact on our municipalities, school districts, fire protection districts, police departments, park districts, public libraries, and everything in between.

Over seven months ago during county budget hearings, I raised the alarm of the likelihood of late tax installments and the effect they will have regarding the delay in the process of property tax certifications – due to the dramatically diminished amount of files being processed at that time. Aside from communications from Board of Review Commissioner Tammy Wendt’s office, my questions and communications were largely ignored from the various stakeholders.

Subsequently, I sent a letter in January 2022 requesting a special hearing of the finance committee to address this ominous issue. I was advised via letter, the issue is being addressed by a policy group under the Office of the President along with members of the Assessor’s office, Board of Review, County Clerk and Treasurer’s Office. I received no other actionable response on this item!

I, along with the public, have now learned via “the news media” that tax bills will be delayed up to six months or more. If these news reports are accurate, this will lead to local government taxing bodies across Cook County being forced to borrow funds to cover their pre-budgeted operating costs.

If this financial catastrophe occurs and Cook County is faced with a substantial delay in the release of tax revenues to local government bodies, then Cook County government should consider stepping in to address this issue.

Until such point in time as those stakeholders whose primary function is to provide for the on-time delivery of our property tax bill correct this problem, I have one immediate solution. Cook County government should consider setting aside up to $100 million dollars to provide for no/low interest short-term financing loans to our local taxing bodies.

I re-issue my call to convene a special finance committee meeting to address the looming financial crisis facing our local taxing bodies in Cook County.

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Plastic Bag Drive

Commissioner Sean Morrison calls for end to Cook County's COVID Mandate & Restrictions

Orland Park, IL - Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison sent a letter to President Toni Preckwinkle calling for an end to the Cook County COVID Mandate & Restrictions - following the letter from Chicago’s five Catholic High Schools urging Mayor Lightfoot to modify the Chicago’s COVID restrictions on schools and children.

Letter 1
Letter 2
Letter 3

STATUS UPDATE: Cook County COVID Mandate & Restrictions

(1/6/22) – I would like to provide a brief status update today as it relates to the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) COVID Mitigation Order 2021-11 (Mandate) which went into effect on January 3, 2022.
My district office has received numerous constituent inquiries and complaints regarding this recent Cook County COVID Mitigation Order over the last 10 days, especially its impact on young children. I'm pleased to announce that the CCDPH revised its original order and lifted the minimum age requirement from 5 years old to 19 years old for recreational facilities. I can only assume public outcry led to this revision.
To reiterate, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made the unilateral decision to implement the new COVID Mandate for Cook County. The Cook County Board of Commissioners played no role in this decision.
As a result of this unilateral action, I have made an inquiry this afternoon to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and to the Legal Counsel to the President with the following question:
Does the Cook County Board of Commissioners have the legal authority to reject the emergency regulations set forth in Mitigation Order 2021-11 by the Cook County Department of Public Health, as referenced in Cook County’s Code of Ordinances Sec. 38-37 which states:
“The Department is authorized to issue rules and regulations in carrying out its duties under this article. With the exception of emergency regulations, all regulations of the Department shall be submitted to the Board for approval prior to becoming effective. Upon a determination that the public's health will be endangered unless immediate regulatory action is taken, the Chief Executive Officer may adopt and enforce emergency regulations of the Department which shall remain in effect until the Board has adopted or rejected the emergency regulations or for a period of 90 days, whichever is shorter. All regulations adopted by the Department shall be filed with the County Clerk and shall be available at the main offices of the Department.”
I look forward to receiving a timely response on this important legal question regarding the authority of the Board of Commissioners as it relates to mandated public health regulations by the CCDPH.
I remain convinced that this order is bad public policy which hurts our county's residents. I do not support government interference by mandating forced vaccination upon private sector businesses and their employees.
I do encourage you to continue taking additional health precautions and maintain safeguards that limit your exposure to COVID-19.
Commissioner Sean M. Morrison
17th District, Cook County

Commissioner Sean Morrison's Statement on PRESIDENT PRECKWINKLE'S NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS FOR COOK COUNTY

Orland Park, IL (12/23/21) - Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced an overly aggressive order placed upon private sector business and employees in Cook County. I strongly oppose this approach as technically written/read, the order from Cook County's Department of Public Health (CCDPH), an office under the President of the Board Toni Preckwinkle, places a burdensome mandate on all private sector businesses to force vaccinations of all employees in order to maintain their employment.

I find this to be an overreach of authority and a policy approach which several courts have already ruled against. It will very likely have a hurtful economic impact on our county's residents. It will dramatically affect their employment and their ability to provide for their families. It will add an additionally hurtful blow for many businesses to remain open and functionable at a time when so many businesses have been devastated and continue to struggle to recover and stay afloat. This is bad public policy.
I am personally vaccinated, recovered from COVID post-vaccination, and I continue to advocate for all healthy and able adults to get vaccinated. If private sector business wish to institute a vaccination policy for their own business that is their right. However, I do not support government interference by mandating forced vaccination upon private sector businesses and their employees. For those that are not vaccinated, whether by personal choice or medically unable due to co-morbidity, I encourage you to take additional precautions and maintain safeguards that limit your exposure.
Budget Statement

Headlines

Gorman Endorsed for Re-election by the Chicago Tribune

October 28, 2014

17th District (southwest, west and northwest suburbs): Republican incumbent Elizabeth Doody Gorman has only a gentle challenge from Democrat Jim Hickey (no survey), who heads the Orland Fire Protection District. Hickey didn’t complete our election questionnaire, and we weren’t able to reach him.

We endorse Gorman with undying gratitude for her persistence in gradually killing the Stroger tax. And we applaud her work in making county government more active in three areas: her attention to animal protection issues (dogfighting remains alarmingly common), environmental concerns (flooding plagues many homeowners), and the need for expanded mental health services.

Gorman is the prime mover on an advisory referendum in which county voters will be asked whether Illinois should devote more funding to these services. One reason that’s important: Sheriff Tom Dart has written on our opinion pages that one-third of Cook County’s jail inmates suffer from serious mental illnesses; they rotate between the jail and the streets, receiving inadequate mental health treatment and running up criminal justice costs for taxpayers.

Commissioner Gorman sponsors resolution to place referendum on county ballot regarding mental health funding in Illinois

July 21, 2014

0 CommentsChicago, IL – Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman has sponsored a resolution asking to place a referendum on the Cook County ballot regarding mental health funding in Illinois. The resolution will be presented for approval at the upcoming Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting to be held this week on Wednesday, July 23.  If passed, the referendum question will appear before Cook County voters on the November 4, 2014 ballot.

The resolution calls for the following question to be placed before Cook County voters in November, and it reads:  “Shall the General Assembly of the State of Illinois appropriate additional funds to provide necessary mental health services for the people of the State of Illinois?”

One in five Illinois residents experiences a diagnosable mental disorder every year. Mental illness affects people regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or economic status.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness, Illinois ranked fourth in the nation in terms of cutting mental health programs, with $187 million in cuts between 2009 and 2012.  Half of Chicago’s 12 mental health care facilities have been closed by the state.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart estimates that 25%-30% of the Cook County Jail population is suffering from mental illness and Cook County Jail is viewed as the largest mental health facility in the United States. Also, a study conducted by the University of Chicago suggests that the majority of youth involved with the criminal justice system experience at least one psychiatric disorder. 

“Mental health is an issue that touches across all spectrums of our community.  It’s important that we not lose sight of the significant impact state funding cuts have had at the local levels.  It’s time for Springfield to get its financial priorities in order but not at the expense of those people who are most in need, especially in the area of mental health care,” said Commissioner Gorman.

The resolution has the support of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle (as a co-sponsor) as well as the bipartisan support of eight fellow commissioners who have also signed on as co-sponsors. In addition, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez have submitted letters of support for the resolution.

President Preckwinkle and members of the Board of Commissioners recognize the significance of mental illness in Cook County and believe that more needs to be done to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and additional resources to heighten awareness of and treatment for mental illness should be provided.

Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, Republican from Orland Park, represents Cook County’s suburban 17th District. She has been a strong advocate for tax reform, fiscal responsibility, and budget and operational efficiencies. Commissioner Gorman has also worked hard for greater transparency throughout Cook County government and for making the Forest Preserve District a national leader in the areas of recreation, restoration and conservation.

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