More Than 100 Cook County Prosecutors Face Layoffs Without Soda Tax

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said more than 100 prosecutors could be laid off if a judge doesn’t soon lift an injunction blocking the county’s penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax.

A judge has temporarily halted implementation of the tax, and is set to hold a hearing on July 12. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office has warned the county could be forced to cut its budget by 10 percent if it can’t begin collecting the tax by August.

Foxx said that would mean layoffs for about 100 prosecutors and dozens of administrative staffers.

“We are already working on limited means,” Foxx said. “At this point we are working with our chief financial officer and our budget team to work with the county to mitigate the impact that this would have to be able to work with them to see if there are things that we can do creatively to ensure that public safety is not jeopardized.”

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart also received a letter from Preckwinkle about the 10 percent cuts. His office would have to lay off about 925 employees if the soda tax is struck down or delayed much longer.

Foxx said she believes all county agencies got similar warning letters about potential cuts.

Foxx is the guest on this week’s edition of “At Issue,” airing Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

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