Top News

New sick leave ordinance will take effect next year in Cook County; employers face litigation risk

Dawn Geske Oct. 25, 2016, 1:09pm

Cook County has approved an ordinance giving employees in the county the right to accrued sick leave and the ability to use it as necessary, as well as to sue employers who don't abide by the rules.

November referendum looks at idea of moving Orland Township out of Cook County

Dawn Geske Oct. 20, 2016, 9:07pm

A referendum on the November ballot will let residents of Orland Township explore whether the township and its communities should secede from Cook County, and decide what kind of message they want to send to Cook County leaders about the state of the county.

Cook County launches health program for uninsured residents; expects to pay for it from cost savings

Kristin Danley-Greiner Oct. 6, 2016, 12:44am

Cook County has unveiled a new program officials say will help thousands of uninsured county residents afford health care, providing eligible residents access to primary and specialty care through the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS).

7th Circuit appeals judges lift injunction blocking Illinois Election Day voter registration program

Jonathan Bilyk Oct. 4, 2016, 5:53pm

Saying the law imposes only a “minimal inconvenience" on voters living in low population counties who wish to register to vote on Election Day when compared to the benefits of expanding voting opportunities in counties with more people, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked a federal appeals court to overturn a federal judge’s block of a state law allowing Election Day voter registration at polling places in Cook County and other Illinois counties in which more than 100,000 people liv

Judge slaps down Illinois Election Day voter registration system, saying it dilutes rural citizens' rights

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 27, 2016, 12:41pm

A federal judge has prohibited Illinois’ most populated counties from continuing to register voters at polling places on Election Day, saying the way the system is currently set up in the state violates the rights of people voting in Illinois’ more rural regions.

Chicago boat tour company asks court to rule Cook County can't tax its river, lake tours

Dan Churney Aug. 29, 2016, 11:16am

A Chicago tour boat company is asking a Cook County circuit judge to rule a Cook County administrative law judge was right to say the county can’t apply an amusement tax on the company’s Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat tours, but to find the administrative law judge did so for the wrong reason – a move which could also spell taxing trouble for the operators of Chicago’s walking tours. 

TIF revenue up in Chicago, but it may not be helping where needed most, clerk's report says

Carrie Salls Aug. 8, 2016, 8:52pm

Revenue collected in the city of Chicago's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts will increase 23.9 percent this year, according to a report recently issued by Cook County Clerk David Orr. But it appears that failing neighborhoods that need revitalization the most are not seeing as much benefit from TIF, relative to areas that are already thriving.

Infrastructure council applauds Cook County's 25-year transportation plan

Taryn Phaneuf Aug. 6, 2016, 1:41pm

CHICAGO —  With the introduction of a long-range transportation plan, Cook County officials have outlined priorities for the county that will impact local decisions, as well as plans across the region.

Cook County's predatory lending actions vs big banks on hold as Supreme Court takes up similar case

Jonathan Bilyk Jul. 29, 2016, 4:46pm

Cook County’s lawsuits against three of the country’s biggest banks over claims of predatory discriminatory lending targeted at minorities have been put on hold as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on an appeal brought by two of the banks, challenging the ability of local municipal governments, like Cook County, to sue under federal law.

Ideas to reduce Cook County elected officials to save money, boost effectiveness, not going away

Taryn Phaneuf Jul. 28, 2016, 1:19am

While some ideas are moving ahead and others are on the backburner, the concept of reducing the number of the county's elected offices remains a hot topic in Cook County, as supporters believe the reforms could both save money and make the local government more effective by installing the best people for the job, rather than the most popular.

Preliminary budget for Cook County indicates possible tax hikes ahead

Dawn Geske Jul. 18, 2016, 5:36pm

CHICAGO – Cook County has released the preliminary forecast for its 2017 fiscal year budget, signaling that tough times and tax hikes may lie ahead for the county.

Cook County Clerk calls for funding of voter registration tech to keep voter records current

Dawn Geske Jun. 30, 2016, 10:55am

With the presidential election approaching this November, Cook County Clerk David Orr is calling for the state to keep its promise to fund a program to more efficiently keep voter registration records up to date.

Tax bills heading up for Chicago property owners

Mike Helenthal Jun. 27, 2016, 1:09pm

CHICAGO –  Chicago residents are already grumbling about the likelihood of paying significantly higher property taxes this year, and the bills haven’t even been sent out yet.

Appeals court: Cook County has lawful power to regulate trash, recycling transfer stations

Dana Herra Jun. 1, 2016, 12:07pm

A state appellate court has ruled that Cook County has the authority to regulate solid waste and recycling facilities, upholding a summary judgment by the Cook County Circuit Court against the National Waste and Recycling Association.

Cook County Home Rule Tax Ordinance reform aimed at simplifying certain tax payments

Carrie Salls May 24, 2016, 6:13pm

CHICAGO – The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a package of Home Rule Tax Ordinance reforms on earlier this month that the board said is aimed at providing individuals and businesses with a simplified process while improving the efficiency of the Cook County Department of Revenue.

Cook County: State must pay millions owed to fund child support collection program

Dana Herra Mar. 8, 2016, 2:50pm

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and lawyers acting on behalf of parents owed child support have asked the federal courts to step in to force the state of Illinois to pay up what it owes to cover the costs of enforcing the collection of child support, saying the state’s failure to pass a budget to fund the program has cost Cook County millions, harms the parents and their children and threatens the future viability of the program.

With legal battle over gambling machine tax ended, casino owes Cook County $3 million

Annie Hunt Feb. 9, 2016, 9:26am

After the Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear the casino owners' appeal, Cook County now has the green light to collect $3 million in unpaid taxes from Midwest Gaming, owner and operator of Des Plaines’ Rivers Casino.

Judges disagree if county can sue, but appeal won't slow Cook's predatory lending suit vs HSBC

Dan Churney Feb. 1, 2016, 4:18pm

A Chicago federal judge will not slow down Cook County’s predatory lawsuit against HSBC, denying a request from HSBC to place the county’s legal action on hold to allow a federal appeals court to iron out differing opinions among local federal judges as to whether the county actually has standing under federal law to sue HSBC and other banks over allegations the banks discriminated against borrowers based on race and worsened local housing markets.

Cook County demands Kellogg's cough up $2.1 million for allegedly bummed steam heat at SW side plant

Jonathan Bilyk Feb. 1, 2016, 11:11am

Cook County has served up a demand for more than $2 million to the Kellogg Company, demanding the maker of breakfast cereals, cookies and other foods cough up the money the county says Kellogg owes for more than a decade’s worth of steam heat provided to a Kellogg’s plant on the city’s southwest side, across the street from the Cook County Jail.

Appellate panel says County Board within constitutional bounds to empower Inspector General to investigate Berrios

Jonathan Bilyk Dec. 9, 2015, 4:05pm

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who also serves as chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, has lost another round in court in his attempt to avoid turning over documents demanded by the county’s Inspector General as part of the IG’s investigation of allegations Berrios’ office improperly granted an assessor’s office employee a special property tax exemption.