Alvarez, Preckwinkle Make up over Budget
(Chicago Sun Times) — Two of Cook County’s popular politicians buried the hatchet before a gaggle of reporters Thursday, two days after each took turns blasting each other over budget cuts as the news cameras were rolling. “We’ve met our shared objectives, which was to achieve the reduction and minimize attorney layoffs,” County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said on Thursday. It was certainly a more conciliatory tone than Tuesday when Preckwinkle accused Alvarez of “reneging on the deal” to cut her budget 10 percent. That was after Alvarez told reporters and later testified in a county budget hearing that she never struck a deal with Preckwinkle. The best she could do, she said, was 8 percent cuts, which included 180 layoffs – including 58 prosecutors. On Thursday, Alvarez said she was “grateful” to Preckwinkle for hearing her concerns and working to spare some of the layoffs of assistant state’s attorneys. She estimates about 25 would be let go and noted that that’s still going to hurt. “Make no mistake, my office is already feeling that pain,” Alvarez said, noting that more than 100 support staff members were given pink slips Wednesday.