Chicago's Cook County lays off more than 300

CHICAGO --Cook County commissioners have approved a $5.2 billion budget that includes more than 300 job cuts that come after the repeal of a sugary drink tax. 

The board vote Tuesday on Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's budget was 17-0. The budget includes 323 layoffs and requires eliminating about 1,000 currently vacant jobs.

The county's offices of its chief judge, sheriff and the hospital system are among those hit with cuts.

Some county employees tearfully begged for their jobs, CBS Chicago reports

"I ask you to please reconsider because I have been with the county for 19 and a half years," one woman told commissioners.

"I'm a single mother," said juvenile probation employee Eboni McLemore, before being overcome. "Just please find some other resources because this would be so detrimental, not just to me, but to all my brothers and sisters in juvenile probation." 

Cook County commissioners who supported a penny-an-ounce sweetened beverage tax say they warned of the cost of repealing it: a budget amendment filled with pain.

"It has actual layoffs of human beings who have jobs and who have families," Commissioner Larry Suffredin said.

But commissioners say front-line services were spared.

"We did not get rid of our neurosurgeons, we did not get rid of our prosecutors, we did not get rid of our jail guards," Commissioner Sean Morrison said.

That was little comfort for Tysha Franklin, a juvenile court employee, who paused tearfully when asked if she would lose her job because of the vote.

Franklin told CBS Chicago she put her two children through college working for the county and still has faith in government.

"I believe it will turn around," Franklin said. "If they have to legalize marijuana, I will start smoking it to pay for the tax," she joked.

Morrison says with an attrition rate of 2,000 a year, he hopes many of the fired employees, will get a chance to return.