Everyone knew he would veto this because this is his bright idea, the sales tax increase. Commissioner Liz Gorman complains that much of her district borders other counties, and the businesses in her district have been hurt financially more than others. I am sure part has to do with the economy getting worse during the sales tax increase, but when people live on a border and don't have to go out of their way much to save money, they are going to do it.
Yes, it takes 14 of 17 Commissioners to override the veto. Something that is a long shot. He has the South Side guys on his side for sure, Butler, Beavers and Steele. I am quite sure Sims will go along with Todd. So there you have it. No override.
On Monday, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger vetoed the decision by commissioners to repeal the one percentage point increase.
But commissioners aren't giving up.
Now they're trying to come up with enough votes to override Stroger.
County commissioners ABC7 spoke with say although they're disappointed by the veto, this is far from over. If they can get just two of the five commissioners who did not vote with them last week to come to their side, they can override the veto. And they say it is possible because two commissioners weren't even present for last week's vote.
"I hope we can override this veto next Tuesday at the meeting, and if we can't then I will fight to have this phase-out be faster than he's projecting," said Larry Suffredin, (D) Cook County Commissioner.
Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin made a vow to fight on Monday night.
His vow came after county president Todd Stroger used his veto power to block the repeal of a controversial sales tax increase that gave Cook County one of the highest tax rates in the nation.
In an exclusive interview with ABC7 political reporter Charles Thomas, Stroger said repealing the entire tax increase now would really mean dismantling the county's health system, including closing one of the major hospitals, Provident or Oak Forest.
"We know that more people need our services and that if we pull back now there will just be a lot of people without any healthcare whatsoever," said Todd Stroger, Cook Co. Board president.
But on Monday night, Republican Commissioner Tony Peraica says that is simply not true and Todd Stroger knows it.
"They are now coming out with scare tactics saying the hospitals are going to close, the clinics are going to close, prisoners are going to be walking the streets...these are just lies&lies to justify the unjustifiable," said Tony Peraica, (R) Cook County commissioner.
Peraica was one of several sponsors in favor of repealing the entire 1 percent sales tax increase right now. If they're unable to get two more votes to override the veto, there is another plan already in the works. It would roll back a quarter of a percent every year for the next four years.
Larry Sufferdin is one of the sponsors.
"It at this time has become the symbol of bad government and it has become the symbol of bad economic policy for Cook County," said Sufferdin.
At least part of Larry Suffredin's plan is something Todd stroger could support. He has said that he supports a roll back of a quarter of 1 percent. But Stroger says anything more than that would depend on the economy improving.
Next Tuesday's vote should be very interesting
Stroger accused the commissioners who engineered the roll-back vote of having no plan to replace the revenue that would have been lost and said the vote was "a political effort really to try to embarrass me."
Stroger appeared confident he could find one more commissioner to join the three who supported him last week by opposing the tax repeal.
"I don't think the votes are there to override the veto," Stroger said on WVON.
Stroger declared last week he would veto the repeal after county commissioners surprised him by approving it on a 12-3 vote that included support from four commissioners who had voted to increase the tax last year.
It takes an extraordinary 14 of 17 county commissioners to override a veto, a threshold repeal supporters said they were unlikely to meet.
In his press release, Stroger accused the board of pandering to voters ahead of the 2010 elections.
"Someone has to show leadership," Stroger said in the statement. "I will not jeopardize the well-being of County residents by allowing this faction of commissioners to end funding for vital services and destroy our health and public safety operations. There is too much at stake -- for residents who desperately need these services, and for residents who deserve a government that is responsibly funded."
Stroger said rolling back the penny-on-a-dollar sales tax increase would have resulted in closing at least one of the county's three hospitals, as well as some health clinics.
None of the elected county officials had advised Stroger to use his veto.
State's Atty. Anita Alvarez, Sheriff Tom Dart and Assessor Jim Houlihan all said last week that it's the job of Stroger and the County Board to properly fund county government. Treasurer Maria Pappas said she could live with cuts if the tax were repealed.
Even Mayor Richard Daley weighed in, saying Stroger should let the repeal go through. Daley's brother, County Finance Committee Chairman John Daley (D-Chicago), who once supported the tax hike but voted to repeal it, also said Stroger should not use his veto.