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(Chicago Tribune) — Cook County Board President-elect Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday warned top county officials that they will need to make major spending cuts next year to help the county close a vast budget gap.  The estimated revenue shortfall tops $480 million because of the partial rollback of the controversial county sales-tax increase, the anticipated costs of new contracts for employees, and higher debt payments, she said. This week’s $55.3 million settlement of a lawsuit related to jail strip searches also contributed, she added.

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