Sheriff's recruits, trainees laid off due to soda tax holdup

CHICAGO (AP) - The Cook County sheriff has laid off more than 110 recruits and trainees, saying the move was made because a proposed countywide tax on soda was put on hold.

The layoffs are in addition to 300 layoffs announced last week by county board President Toni Preckwinkle. Cara Smith of the sheriff's office said Tuesday security remains the department's first priority.

The tax on sweetened beverages was supposed to go into effect July 1. A temporary restraining order was issued June 30 after the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and several grocers sued to block the tax. They say it's unconstitutional and too vague.

Cook County had projected collecting about $67.5 million in revenue from the tax this year. A hearing is Friday on the county's motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

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