CHICAGO

Cook County Shutdown: Government Offices, Clinics, More Closed To Save Money

04/22/2011 12:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2011

Most offices of the Cook County government are shut down on Friday, in an effort to reduce the county's massive budget deficit.

The county's 16 health clinics are all closed, as NBC Chicago reports, as are the county's pharmacies and laboratories. The clerk's and treasurer's offices have also shut their doors. That means that those residents hoping to pay their property taxes in person, to apply for a marriage license, or to seek a copy of their birth certificate will have to wait until Monday, the Chicago Tribune points out.

The county's website lists the agencies that haven't closed today: the Board of Review, which hears property tax assessment appeals, is open from 9 to 5; the county's courts are keeping their normal hours; and the Cook County Jail will keep its usual visitation hours.

Hospitals and emergency rooms will remain open, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Friday is the first of five "shutdown days" that are sprinkled throughout the year, which are designed to help the county reduce spending. New County Board president Toni Preckwinkle inherited a $487 million deficit, out of a $3.1 billion budget, necessitating around a 16 percent cut across the board.

Her first days in office were defined by the deficit, as she wrested cuts from every department in the county. It has also made it difficult for her to follow through on her campaign promise of rolling back the sales tax increase pushed by her predecessor, Todd Stroger.

Future shutdown days will land on May 27, July 1, Sept. 2 and Nov. 25.

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