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Cook County Passes $3 Billion Budget

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Cook County Passes $3 Billion Budget

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Cook County commissioners passed a $3 billion budget early Saturday morning following a marathon session.

Under the approved budget, most of Cook County government will shut down for five days this year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, a cost-cutting move designed to save jobs. County employees will be required to take another five days off without pay.

The vote was passed at 4:25 a.m., 19 hours after the meeting began.

Commissioners say there will still be "hundreds of layoffs," but less than the 1,300 Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle estimated when she first proposed the budget.

Preckwinkle is trying to make a dent in a $487 million deficit.

An official with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31 told the Sun-Times that the furloughs amount to a pay cut.

Commissioners also repealed the remaining half of a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase implemented by former board president Todd Stroger. The change will take effect by 2013.

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