Winnebago County Board takes first step towards finalizing a bud - – Rockford’s News Leader

Winnebago County Board takes first step towards finalizing a budget


The clock is ticking for the Winnebago County Board to come to an agreement on the proposed 2018 budget. 

On Monday night during a special meeting of the whole, board members voted to lay over the proposed budget.  That budget was proposed by the county's finance committee. Board members needed to do this on Monday because the budget is required to lay over for 15 days before board members take their final vote on September 28th. 

The county's finance committee chairman, Ted Biondo, voted against the layover.  He says this is because he wanted board members to hash out exactly what they were and weren't comfortable with the proposal. He says he was ready to stay late into the night in order to finalize some of those hot topics. 

"I wanted to go through the cuts, each of the ones that were there and discuss do we want to cut?  We're going to wind up doing that on the 21st anyway. We were all here, why not do it tonight?"

The current proposal cuts the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office's budget by $4.3 million dollars.  It also cuts the state's attorney's office by $300,000, the circuit court by $300,000, the public defender's office by $250,000, and the coroner's office by $75,000.

These cuts will go into effect after the September 28th vote, unless the board comes up with amendments to change them. 

"Now we've shared in writing the budget that came out of the finance committee with our entire board," says Chairman Frank Haney.  " We took some questions and obviously there will be some discussion in the coming weeks."

Sheriff Caruana tells 13 News he's concerned for the people of Winnebago County, the Rockford region, along with the men and women in his department if these cuts go into effect.  A meeting of the whole will take place on September 21st.  It's there board members are expected to discuss any amendments to the final budget. 

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