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Stroger Makes His Budget Address

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Cook County Board President Todd Stroger made his budget address for the 2009 fiscal year this morning. Some commissioners criticized Stroger for how he plans to pay for some of the $2.9-billion plan.

Stroger’s budget address tried to accentuate the positive. He proposes increasing spending just a little and reducing the number of employees. And he made this promise.

STROGER: The executive budget recommendation that I present today contains no new or increased taxes or fees. None.
QUIGLEY: If they’re not raising taxes, they’re just going to borrow their way out of this problem.

That’s commissioner Mike Quigley. He’s been critical of Stroger’s past plans to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars, despite increasing the sales tax in the previous budget. Stroger says the borrowed money is needed to cover the day-to-day costs of running county government. Expenses he says were already approved by the board.

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