Statement from Chief Judge Evans

Released On 07/18/2018

Please see the statement below from Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans on the settlement agreement in Evans v. County of Cook:

“I am pleased that the court and the county could come together to settle this matter. Overall, the court will receive an additional $11.1 million – a combination of new funding and budget credits.

“This dispute was about the necessary and reasonable funding that is statutorily required for the court system. But this litigation has also established that the county board has no authority to lay off court employees. The county decides the funding level for the court, and the court is best suited to decide how those funds are allocated. Moving forward, that is an important precedent.

“As we head into more uncertain financial times, the county board has more tough decisions ahead. I hope that the president and commissioners will consider all of the sacrifices the court has made and the disproportionate share of the cuts that the court was asked to take in 2018.

“As we stated when this case began, the Circuit Court of Cook County accounts for about 5 percent of the county’s operating budget, but the county board had ordered the court to bear 50 percent of the overall layoffs. Fortunately, this litigation prevented those 180 layoffs – and the corresponding reduction in basic services – from taking effect.

“In addition to saving all 180 employees from layoffs, we are shouldering our share of sacrifices through 10 unpaid furlough days for all employees, saving the county $6.2 million this year. All of our unions embraced this plan, and all non-union employees are also taking the furloughs in this fiscal year.”

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