Layoffs, cuts possible in Cook County due to no state budget

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CHICAGO — Cook County may have to lay off some of its employees and county board president Toni Preckwinkle is blaming the ongoing budget impasse in Springfield.

Preckwinkle says the state of Illinois is more than $66 million behind in its payments to the county. She says, if state legislative leaders and Governor Rauner can’t settle their differences, the county will have to cut back.

Among those facing potential layoffs are people who enforce child support payments and those who work with non-violent offenders to keep them out of prison.

The county says that law enforcement will soon suffer from the lack of state funding.  Special programs run by the state’s attorney and sheriff are at risk.

And then there’s the violence in the county. Some board commissioners worry that looming cuts to social programs will make the situation worse.

Some of the money owed to the state is guaranteed by contracts. A representative from the Cook County State’s Attorney says the office is consider action to force Springfield to send money.

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