The ‘Freshman Connection’ program was cut in 2012, but now the mayor plans to tax tobacco products to reinstate it. He hopes doing so will bring graduation rates to 85 percent. Studies show freshman year is a strong indicator of whether a student will graduate from high school.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is calling for more taxes on alcohol and tobacco products. Under her proposal, smokeless tobacco and cigars will be taxed the same as cigarettes. As for alcohol, taxes would go up by 50 percent in Cook County.