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    The $121 million budget shortfall faced by Cook County represents a sharp decline from gaps ripped open by the COVID-19 pandemic last year. [Cook County Bureau of Finance]

    Cook County leaders will have to close a $121.4 million budget shortfall this fall as they prepare to pass a 2022 budget that leaves the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the rear-view mirror. They’ll do so with the help of a $1 billion allotment from the federal government via the American Rescue Plan, a windfall that county budget officials will work to weave into their budgets during the next three years.

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