A vote already expected to advance on a razor thin margin was complicated at the Cook County board Thursday when it became apparent Comm. Robert Steele (D-2) was not in the building. Comm. Steele, who is recovering at home from a hospital stay earlier this week, threw an expected 9-8 committee passage of the President’s sweetened beverage tax out of whack, and ended up forcing President Toni Preckwinkle to play tie breaker. Cook County is now the largest county in the nation to pass a sweetened beverage tax.

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