Preckwinkle Soda Tax repealed by Cook County Finance Committee

Preckwinkle Soda Tax repealed by Cook County Finance Committee

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Cook County Board overwhelmingly repeals the Sweetened Beverage Tax

Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison released the following statement today: After weeks of debate, the Cook County Board of Commissioners’ Finance Committee voted overwhelmingly today 15-1 to support Commissioner Morrison’s ordinance to repeal the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax. (Please note: The Finance Committee is a Committee of the Whole.)

“I am pleased with today’s outcome. I would like to thank my colleagues for working together so diligently and amicably to come to an agreement on such an important issue to our constituents and to Cook County,” stated Commissioner Morrison.

The agreement reached on the substitute amendment will allow for Cook County government to close out the final seven weeks of its fiscal year with the tax in place. This will then provide a clean slate for the Cook County Board to begin its 2018 Cook County Budget Process in the coming weeks.

County Commissioner Sean Morrison pictured as board votes to repeal Toni Preckwinkle's soda tax Oct. 10, 2017

County Commissioner Sean Morrison pictured as board votes to repeal Toni Preckwinkle’s soda tax Oct. 10, 2017

Commissioner Morrison also thanked the thousands of Cook County constituents, the hundreds of businesses, and the dozens of municipalities who contacted his office to express their concern and opposition to this tax. They represent, in his words, “the foundation of our great county.”

Commissioner Morrison added, “It has not been an easy task, but in the end, we have reached an agreement that addresses the concerns of our constituents and sets forth a goal to chart a new fiscal course for Cook County.”

Commissioner Morrison made it clear that he is firmly committed to working in a bipartisan and constructive manner with all of his board colleagues, President Preckwinkle and her administration to take the necessary steps to find the appropriate fiscal solutions to create a balanced and responsible 2018 Budget for Cook County.

Another vote by the board on the repeal ordinance will take place at the Cook County Board Meeting on Wednesday, October 11, which will be followed by the 2018 Cook County Budget Process begins on October 23 and typically lasts approximately four weeks.

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer also released a statement:

Today, I voted with 15 of my colleagues on the Cook County Board of Commissioners to repeal the Soda Tax. The repeal was favored by over 80% of all Cook County residents. This overwhelming majority to repeal was shared by the bars, restaurants and constituents within the 10th district.

And while we can take today to acknowledge that the voice of Cook County residents was heard — tomorrow, we will roll up our sleeves and prepare to find areas to fill the budget gap. I am committed to working with my colleagues and President Preckwinkle to approach the 2018 budget line-by-line and find alternate ways to close the budget gap.

My ask of you is to join me over the coming weeks as I host town hall meetings throughout my district to hear your ideas and concerns. The first meeting will be at the Peterson Park Improvement Association meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, October 18 at Solomon Elementary School, 6206 N. Hamlin Ave.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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