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Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle announces the launch of the Building Healthy Communities initiative Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (WTTW News)

Cook County budget officials will only have to close an $18.2 million budget shortfall in 2023, the smallest gap in a decade, avoiding tax hikes and layoffs. Thebudget has been boosted by sales taxes, corporate income taxes and revenue generated by the construction boom. 

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Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, left, debates lawyer Richard Boykin on "Chicago Tonight" on Wednesday, June 15. (WTTW News)

Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle and Oak Park lawyer Richard Boykin clashed over whether Preckwinkle’s efforts to reform the county’s criminal justice system is fueling the surge of crime during a debate held Wednesday evening on “Chicago Tonight.”

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks about the county’s cash assistance program on May 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

Those who are selected for the program, which will prioritize residents of suburban Cook County, will get monthly payments of $500 to 3,250 residents for two years. The first checks are expected to be cut by the end of the year, officials said.

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A residential street in Wicker Park in Chicago. (WTTW News)

The number of evictions carried out in Cook County dropped from more than 3,300 in the five months before the pandemic to fewer than 1,200 in the five months after the eviction ban was lifted, according to data obtained by WTTW News.

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Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle announces the launch of the Building Healthy Communities initiative Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (WTTW News)

Community-based organizations, health centers, local municipalities and schools in suburban Cook County can apply for funding starting Tuesday. “Working with grassroots organizations is critical in reaching our most vulnerable populations,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

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Candidates line up at the Illinois State Board of Election to file petitions on March 7, 2022. (WTTW News)

Anyone in line to file their petitions by the time election authorities opened their doors has a chance to be listed first on the ballot for their race, a position that could make a difference by attracting voters’ eyeballs in a close contest.

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Toni Preckwinkle joins “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom, March 2 2022. (WTTW News)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle details how an influx of federal funds will be allocated.

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

In honor of Monday’s Martin Luther King Day of Service, Cook County Forest Preserves is hosting volunteer activities at a number of sites across the forest preserve district, from habitat restoration to litter cleanups.

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Individuals are issued a COVID-19 vaccination card when they’re vaccinated. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

Citing rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, suburban Cook County officials announced Thursday patrons age 5 and up entering restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters, among other venues, will need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 starting Jan. 3.

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(WTTW News)

No appointment necessary. All three approved vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – will be available for adults who can mix-and-match their booster. Only the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for 16- and 17-year-olds.

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(Pixabay)

Cook County is aiming to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030, but can’t get there on its own. So it’s looking for a renewable energy developer, who would front the costs of building a solar or wind farm to generate green electricity for county buildings. 

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 at a press conference. (WTTW News)

"We will do what it takes, individually and collectively, to address the immediate violence on our streets and invest in fighting the underlying causes that cause too much despair, too much addiction, too little mental health treatment and too few opportunities,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday.

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Ald. Jim Gardiner declined to respond to questions from WTTW News about the reports of an FBI probe while at City Hall on Sept. 14, 2021 for a meeting of the Chicago City Council. (WTTW News)

Ald. Jim Gardiner's actions disgraced all Cook County Democrats, according to a statement from party leaders after a probe.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (WTTW News)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s $8 billion plan calls for Cook County’s workforce to grow by approximately 1,600 employees to a total workforce of more than 23,000 workers in 2022.

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The Forest Preserve District of Cook County encompasses nearly 70,000 acres. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The recommended 2022 budget will keep the doors open and the lights on, but doesn’t make a dent in the district’s $64 million in unfunded maintenance, pension obligations or goal to acquire more land. For those resources, the district is pinning its hopes on an upcoming property tax referendum.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle has announced she will run for a fourth term as the county’s top elected official, putting her response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the center of her bid for reelection.