Statement from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Passage Of Proposal to Fund Pensions, Legacy Debt Service and Infrastructure

I am deeply grateful to the commissioners who voted in favor of the sales tax proposal today.

By virtue of this action, we can look forward to having the revenue needed to begin addressing our Pension Fund shortfall, as well as the higher legacy debt service payments that are on the horizon.

The revenues we obtain from the sales tax will also allow us to direct needed funding to infrastructure throughout the County through projects that would otherwise be delayed because of diversions from the road fund.

I want to thank Chairman Daley for his leadership and for scheduling the hearing prior to the vote. The hearing allowed for disparate voices on this, an important part of the democratic process.

I understand that this was not an easy vote. This was not an easy proposal for me to put forth. But I feel strongly that leaders are elected to lead, and that in this case we had to step up and make the tough decisions for the future of Cook County.

I also want to reiterate what I have said regarding this particular issue: If Springfield finally acts on our pension reform legislation, I will reassess our revenue needs. But first, we must have meaningful pension reform out of Springfield that meets Cook County's needs.