It was actually one of the shorter Cook County Board Meetings. Absent were Commissioners Bill Beavers and Earlean Collins.
Commissioner Murphy with co-sponsor Commissioner Deborah Sims were the only two to vote on their proposal to exempt the Commissioners from the investigation of hiring practices, all the other Cook County employees and departments must go through. The reasons Sims and Murphy said they should be exempt is that in the middle of an election they will not be able to defend themselves. I was happy to see all the other Commissioners vote against it, Silvestri and Peraica saying that everyone including the ones making the rules have to live by the same rules. This makes me wonder why Murphy and Sims think it's OK to exempt themselves from the rules and regulations brought out by the County Board?
Commissioner Peraica questioned some tax relief for businesses that are moving from one area of the County to another and getting another tax relief. Since this involved mostly Commissioner Moreno's area, he spoke out and said he will scrutinize when things come up in Peraica's district.
Commissioner Peraica wanted the Sheriffs Department to justify why they are spending $1.4 million in wiring when the County was supposed to go wireless. The under sheriff was there stating that this money going to Devine Company was to help update the whole DOC Campus which is still in a DOS system, and the tunnels needed to be wired and concrete had to be drilled into. This was still approved even though Peraica thought this was a lot of money just for wiring only.
Dr. Simon, from the Bureau of Health was there. The main subject was $4.5 million dollars of Prescriptions going to addresses outside of Cook County. It finally came down to Commissioner Suffredin saying that lawsuits for cutting people off medications would be far greater than the $4.5 million and that a study needs to be done. Commissioner Peter Silvestri wanted to know if the patients would be given enough notice so they could find other ways to get their medications. It was also noted that most of these medications were being covered by Medicaid, and that they could lose this source of income. Dr. Simon will have to look into this further and get back to the Board. It was also brought up that patients are not refused in the Emergency Department no matter where they come from, and are given 2 weeks to a months worth of medications when leaving. Dr. Simon did bring up the fact that over 75% of the patients enter the Cook County Hospital through the Emergency Department.
Another issue was brought up, was that illegal immigrants, 12 million according to Commissioner Goslin on a committee to study all County Hospitals, said that they all go to County Hospitals throughout the country for care. He also noted, Lance Tyson, Toddler's chief of Staff, will be touring the Dallas County Hospital later this month to see how they operate. Commissioner Maldonado spoke up and said the illegal immigrants pay taxes, own homes and also pay property taxes which support these County Hospitals. Commissioner Maldonado has always been out in front on immigrant issues, he was out in front when the Little Village Mall was overtaken by about 200 FBI agents in a raid, he is always at the immigration march, I would not expect him to sit still when this was brought up.