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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

LETTER TO EDITOR: CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS MUST REOPEN NOW

February 5, 2021

Letter to the Editor,

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) remain closed and classrooms empty. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CPS leadership and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) continue their carnival show at the expense of Chicago’s children.

Isolation is devastating children. Not the coronavirus. Students have been relegated to their homes and sequestered away from a proper educational setting which allows for a more productive and socially nourishing learning environment. The social and emotional well-being of in-person learning continues to go missing at CPS at a time when it is so urgently needed. Especially for many children at the lower end of the economic spectrum who lack the educational resources and additional guidance at home.

When you are truly honest about your commitment to the health and welfare of children then CPS classrooms would have already been re-opened by now. Like the Archdiocese of Chicago and most suburban school systems throughout the area, they have reopened their classrooms and brought the children back into a safe environment. The Archdiocese of Chicago made the decision last year to put children first and return to the classroom calling their mission, “Operating with Trust” and it has proved safe and successful for both children and adults.

Why CPS remains lost in the abyss is almost criminal. The Chicago schools mess has only deepened in recent weeks with CTU’s refusal to return to the classroom and their aggressive attempt to exploit this situation with the threat of a strike. It’s been reported that CTU is lobbying Governor Pritzker to quickly sign HB 2275 which would allow CTU the ability to strike. Will Governor Pritzker, who has remained largely silent on the CPS reopening fight, acquiesce to CTU’s strike demands or will he step up and help resolve this situation amicably? Either way, it’s time for CPS children to return to the classrooms.

A simple question for all the parties involved: Why must the children continue to suffer?

Sean M. Morrison

Cook County Commissioner, 17th District

COOK COUNTY TO OPEN FIRST OF SEVERAL LARGE VACCINATION SITES: Tinley Park Convention Center Opens Tuesday By Appointment Only for Phase 1b

January 25, 2021

Tinley Park – Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha were joined by Governor J.B. Prtizker to announce today that the Tinley Park Convention Center will serve as Cook County’s first large-scale vaccination site opening on Tuesday, January 26 to continue Phase 1a and begin Phase 1b vaccinations.

Phase 1b includes individuals age 65 and older and essential workers such as first responders, manufacturing employees and grocery store personnel. While an estimated 600,000 suburban individuals are eligible for vaccine under Phase 1b, officials warn there is currently not adequate vaccine supply to vaccinate everyone.  

“While current vaccine supply does not meet the demand – we are standing up large scale sites now to ensure that we are ready as vaccine continues to be distributed to Cook County,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “We are anxious to contribute to the Biden Administration’s goal of providing 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days.”

Vaccinations at Tinley Park and other Cook County Health sites will be provided by appointment. Beginning at 12p.m. Monday, January 25, appointments for individuals in 1b can be scheduled at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov. Individuals without internet access or who need assistance scheduling can call (833) 308-1988 (from 7a.m. to 7p.m., Monday – Friday) also starting Monday. Cook County Health will only offer appointment slots based on the amount of vaccine on hand and will add appointments as new vaccine shipments arrive.

“This first large site in the Southland is indicative of our commitment to distribute vaccine equitably, but we fully expect that demand will quickly outpace supply. It is critical for people to understand that while we are anxious to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated, vaccine supply remains the biggest limiting factor. We are asking Cook County residents for their continued patience as we work to ramp up one of the largest County-operated vaccine programs in the country,” said Israel Rocha, CEO, Cook County Health.

County officials expect to be able to provide as many as 3,000 vaccines per day when the Tinley Park site is fully optimized and when adequate vaccine is available.  

“I want to thank all the various county agencies who have been working tirelessly to bring vaccine to the community. I also want to the thank Governor Pritzker for deploying the Illinois National Guard to assist us in standing up this site. We look forward to the federal government increasing vaccine distribution in the coming weeks and months,” said President Preckwinkle. 

“Widespread vaccination sites will allow us to quickly and efficiently get these life-saving vaccine doses to Illinoisans as more federal shipments of vaccine come online,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The Illinois National Guard and the Illinois Department of Public Health are proud to partner with Cook County to launch the Tinley Park Convention Center Vaccination Site – our seventh collaboration in Cook County overall, with many more to come across the state. And Illinois residents from every region can find their nearby vaccination site options, from local health department operations to hundreds of pharmacy partners statewide, on coronavirus.illinois.gov. As federal supply is currently limited and every state in the nation is facing a shortage, I urge all eligible Illinoisans to check back regularly for available appointments – and in the meantime, mask up, keep our distance, wash our hands, and remember we’ll stay healthy and safe if we look out for each other.”

In addition to Cook County Health sites, the Cook County Department of Public Health has distributed vaccines to more than 90 partner locations including Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, Walgreens, Federally Qualified Health Centers and hospitals who are also offering vaccines by appointment. A complete listing of these sites can be found at www.cookcountypublichealth.org

In the weeks ahead and pending vaccine availability, Cook County plans to open at least five additional large sites across the suburbs. County officials expect Phase 1b to take some time and caution residents to remember that moving through the various phases is contingent on the availability of vaccine.

Residents not yet eligible for vaccine can also sign up at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov to receive updates on their phase and for information on dozens of additional vaccination sites across Cook County.

COMMISSIONER SEAN MORRISON’S STATEMENT ON ILLINOIS HOUSE BILL 3653

January 11, 2021

STATUS UPDATE: This Bill was originally named – House Bill 163 Senate Amendment 2 – when filed last week but it has been moved and it is now House Bill 3653.

I stand with the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition in opposition to Illinois House Bill 3653 which was filed on Tuesday (1/5/21) in Springfield. The coalition released a statement last week which reads in part:


“The so-called “reforms” that are part of House Bill 163 as amended would destroy law enforcement’s ability to keep communities safe. The authors of this legislation are not law enforcement professionals with hundreds of years of combined experience and this bill was drafted without law enforcement input, and because of that the long-term unintended consequences of this legislation would be dire. The Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition recently enumerated its Safe Communities plan, a sensible approach to modernizing Illinois law enforcement, but House Bill 163 as amended would lead to unsafe communities in Illinois. We urge the Illinois General Assembly to avoid making a sudden, rash decision in the Lame Duck Session and instead work carefully with all stakeholders to truly examine what needs to be done regarding law enforcement in Illinois.


The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge, FOP Labor Council, FOP Chicago Lodge 7, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police comprise the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition and have been working on these strategies since summer to improve community safety and enhance the trust between community members and law enforcement.”


It is totally unacceptable to attempt to rush through passage on a significant piece of legislation (600+ pages) like House Bill 3653, especially in the Lame Duck Session. This bill will impact public safety in every single community across Illinois. House Bill 3653 deserves an honest and transparent vetting process. The legislative process should include input from all interested parties including law enforcement and the public. All outreach tools should be employed for public vetting of House Bill 3653 including public hearings, tele-town halls, surveys, editorial boards, and others. This legislation deserves attentive review and vigorous debate.


It is my hope that the Illinois General Assembly will take the prudent approach and fully engage their constituents in dialogue – that includes municipal bodies and residents alike – before any approval of House Bill 3653 is considered.

  • I would urge you to contact your state legislators immediately as a vote on HB 3653 is imminent.

— Commissioner Sean M. Morrison, 17th District

COMMISSIONER SEAN MORRISON’S STATEMENT ON ILLINOIS HOUSE BILL 163 SENATE AMENDMENT 2

January 8, 2021

I stand with the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition in opposition to Illinois House Bill 163 Senate Amendment 2 which was filed on Tuesday (1/5/21) in Springfield. The coalition released a statement this week which reads in part:


“The so-called “reforms” that are part of House Bill 163 as amended would destroy law enforcement’s ability to keep communities safe. The authors of this legislation are not law enforcement professionals with hundreds of years of combined experience and this bill was drafted without law enforcement input, and because of that the long-term unintended consequences of this legislation would be dire. The Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition recently enumerated its Safe Communities plan, a sensible approach to modernizing Illinois law enforcement, but House Bill 163 as amended would lead to unsafe communities in Illinois. We urge the Illinois General Assembly to avoid making a sudden, rash decision in the Lame Duck Session and instead work carefully with all stakeholders to truly examine what needs to be done regarding law enforcement in Illinois.     


The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge, FOP Labor Council, FOP Chicago Lodge 7, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police comprise the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition and have been working on these strategies since summer to improve community safety and enhance the trust between community members and law enforcement.”


It is totally unacceptable to attempt to rush through passage on a significant piece of legislation like House Bill 163, especially in the Lame Duck Session. This bill will impact public safety in every single community across Illinois. House Bill 163 deserves an honest and transparent vetting process. The legislative process should include input from all interested parties including law enforcement and the public. All outreach tools should be employed for public vetting of House Bill 163 including public hearings, tele-town halls, surveys, editorial boards, and others. This legislation deserves attentive review and vigorous debate.


It is my hope that the Illinois General Assembly will take the prudent approach and fully engage their constituents in dialogue before any approval of House Bill 163 is considered.

– Commissioner Sean M. Morrison, 17th District

COOK COUNTY VIRTUAL EQUITY TOWN HALL ON JAN. 6: COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

January 4, 2021
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