WBEZ | fiscal health http://www.wbez.org/tags/fiscal-health Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Cook County Commissioners unanimously approve 2014 budget http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-commissioners-unanimously-approve-2014-budget-109117 <p><p>As Republican Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri put it, the 2014 budget is one the board and county residents can be proud of.</p><p>&ldquo;No taxes, no fees, no layoffs, no problem,&rdquo; Silvestri said, during the final vote on the budget Friday.</p><p>All 17 Cook County commissioners voted to approve the $3.2 billion dollar spending plan for the next fiscal year. The budget came out balanced in the end, even though the county originally faced a $152 million dollar shortfall.</p><p>Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said filling that hole is mostly thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The county is set to receive millions of dollars in federal reimbursements for expanding the county&rsquo;s Medicaid system, known as CountyCare. Dr. Ramanathan Raju, head of the Cook County Health and Hospitals system, said it has already surpassed their goal of 115,000 applications for the program. As of the budget vote, Raju said the county had initiated around 122,000 applications.</p><p>Democratic Commissioner Larry Suffredin said the assistance through the Affordable Care Act will help the county focus their attention elsewhere.</p><p>&ldquo;As we look at the sea change here from healthcare to public safety, we have a number of issues we need to work on,&rdquo; Suffredin said. &ldquo;We have, unfortunately, the largest single-site jail in the United States. We need to reduce the number of people who are in there.&rdquo;</p><p>Now that the 2014 budget is set, both Preckwinkle and Suffredin say the board&rsquo;s next task is to tackle the county&rsquo;s pension fund.</p><p>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a>.</p></p> Sat, 09 Nov 2013 08:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-commissioners-unanimously-approve-2014-budget-109117 Report finds Chicago's charter schools 'in good fiscal health' http://www.wbez.org/story/report-finds-chicagos-charter-schools-good-fiscal-health-92794 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100914_llutton_1937260_Stat_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>A new report out Tuesday shows Chicago's Charter schools are in good financial shape. But the Civic Federation, a non-partisan budget watchdog group, finds there are some concerns.</p><p>The group awarded Chicago's charter schools a B+ 2007 and B in 2008 for meeting key standards of fiscal accountability. But its 170-page report also found threats to long-term fiscal sustainability due to declining budgets.</p><p>Charter schools aren't subject to the same legal and school board requirements as Chicago's public schools. So the Civic Federation says it couldn't conclusively measure every indicator because every Charter reports data in its own way.</p><p>The group's key recommendation is for charters to standardize their reporting data.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/report-finds-chicagos-charter-schools-good-fiscal-health-92794