Cook County Commissioner (July 2015 - Current)
Accomplishments And Highlights
On the Cook County Board, most would state that investing in a Republican Cook County Commissioner would be futile — especially when only 2 seats out of the 17 total board seats are held by a Republican. In the case of Commissioner Sean Morrison, Republican from the suburban 17th District, the opposite would be true.
Although he is in the super minority, Commissioner Sean Morrison has been able to positively impact Cook County government — and has done so in several significant ways. Here are six noteworthy highlights that define Commissioner Sean Morrison’s six years on the Cook County Board:
- Soda Tax Repeal: Commissioner Morrison was the Chief Sponsor & Author of the ordinance that repealed the highly detested soda tax. No other commissioner had the political will to take the lead on the repeal movement and author the repeal ordinance. It took unwavering leadership to take on the heavy lifting to convince Democrats to break ranks against President Preckwinkle — even in the face of mounting public pressure. Morrison also successfully helped block several additional tax proposals and tax increases on Cook County residents (Gasoline Tax, Cable Tax, Ammo Tax and more).
- Commissioner Morrison led the effort for the successful $200M Budget Cut/Reduction from the 2018 Cook County Budget. This was done right on the heels of the Soda Tax Repeal. A double win for Cook County taxpayers in 2017. This was forced through an amendment agreement attached to the original Soda Tax ordinance, which stated no other new revenue sources would be applied in the 2018 Budget. In Cook County, the term “revenue sources” is code for more taxes for Cook County families.
- Led the effort to save suit manufacturer, Hart, Schaffner, Marx (HSM), located in Des Plaines & 17th District, from leaving Illinois — saving 350+ jobs by amending the county’s tax credit ordinance. This effort was successful, even though the county’s Economic Development Dept. initially stated that nothing could be done to help this manufacturer and their employees. Morrison led the way by working with the Assessor’s Office and Economic Development Dept. to craft new ordinance language to save HSM from leaving Illinois. These actions ultimately led to a study/review of the county’s overall tax incentive program to be conducted and concluded with the amendment the entire tax incentive ordinance, which was passed in 2021.Morrison has worked closely with municipalities to support commerce and industry through the tax incentive program and other economic sources. He was a conduit between parties that led to the development of the new and dynamic Elk Grove Technology Park (formerly Busse Farm). Morrison worked closely to provide vital assistance to dozens of small businesses throughout the 17th District, and all of Cook County.
- Morrison Demanded an investigation into revenue losses at the county’s hospital system, ultimately leading to the Inspector General’s investigation of the Cook County Hospital System’s finances — exposing roughly $165 million lost due to widespread errors. Commissioner Morison was the only Commissioner challenging the CCHHS CEO and CFO for several years on their financial reports and faced enormous resistance during this period. Eventually, both the CEO and CFO were fired, new administration were brought in, and new protocols were enacted as a result. Losses ended up grossly exceeding $165 million.
- Commissioner Morrison has been the leading proponent on the county board for innovative fiscal policy reforms. He has worked closely with Cook County’s current CFO (and his predecessor) to promote and implement innovative fiscal practices including stabilizing pension obligations, reserves management, paying off debt, and refinancing bonds — which has led to increased bond ratings and a more stable, long term, fiscal picture for Cook County.
- In addition to his legislative efforts, Commissioner Morrison has continued to hold a principled position in the face of numerous political grandstanding resolutions presented to the board by his colleagues. Most notably, in 2020 a resolution to ‘Defund the Police’ — in this case the Cook County Sheriff’s Dept. — was put before the board and Commissioner Morrison was the only “NO” vote out of the 17 commissioners. Though a resolution is symbolic in nature, this vote showed precisely who had the courage to stand up for law enforcement and public safety. That person was Commissioner Sean Morrison.