Good news: the pollution tax has passed out of Cook County's Finance Committee by a vote of 10-6. It now, apparently heads to the full Board (even though it looks like all Commissioners are a member of the Finance Committee, or at least, have a vote in the Finance Committee).
Here's the public notice of the meeting. I don't think Cook County has any online legislative database to see vote results.
I heard from a friend working this ordinance that the vote was:
Voting YES: Sims, Quigley, Beavers, Maldonado, Butler, Murphy, Steele, Collins, Suffredin, and Daley.
Voting NO: Claypool, Peraica, Silvestri, Goslin, Gorman, Schneider
This seems like a smart way to pay for the health costs for people who get sick from pollution.
I also heard that some environmental groups are getting a little wishy-washy on this county tax, because it might (might) mess up the state deal to cut mercury emissions. If that's true, that seems like a very strange reason to oppose a progressive policy. The sooner we can start taxing things we don't like so as to discourage its production, particularly when it comes to air pollution, the better.
I hope Cook County keeps the pollution tax in the mix to finance our public health system.