Official: 1,100 layoffs anticipated after soda tax blocked

CHICAGO (AP) — An official says more than 1,100 layoff notices will go out in the Chicago area because of efforts to block Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax from taking effect.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Tuesday the notices will go out starting soon to some county workers. Cook County was counting on raising $67.5 million with the tax through Nov. 30 and had warned that cuts were possible without it.

An Illinois appeals court on Monday upheld a temporary restraining order from Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak that blocked the penny-per-ounce tax.

Kubasiak has canceled a Wednesday hearing on the case and extended the restraining order until July 21, when a hearing is now planned.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and several grocers say the tax is vague and unconstitutional.

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