Mayor Newsom Vetoes Alcohol Fee; Supervisors OK Tobacco Restriction
On Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed a proposed alcohol fee that aimed to cover health care costs associated with alcohol misuse, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos proposed the fee, which would have charged alcohol distributors and wholesalers about:
- 4.5 cents for every 6-ounce glass of wine sold;
- 3.5 cents for every 1.5 ounces of hard liquor; and
- 3 cents for every 12-ounce bottle of beer.
The fees were expected to generate about $16 million annually, which would have gone toward:
- Ambulance transportation;
- Prevention programs;
- A sobering center; and
- Unreimbursed hospital care.
Veto, Next Steps
Newsom said the fee would hurt jobs and violate the law because it would conflict with the state's authority to regulate alcohol.
Avalos said he might continue pursuing the alcohol fee by bringing the measure before voters as a ballot initiative (CotÃ©, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/22).
Restricting Tobacco Sales
Also on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 7-3 to give preliminary approval to a plan to expand an existing law that bans drug stores from selling tobacco products. The expanded measure, co-authored by Supervisor Eric Mar, also would restrict grocery stores and wholesale clubs with pharmacies from selling such products.
The board will need to grant final approval to the measure before it heads to the mayor. A spokesperson for Newsom said the mayor wouldÂ sign the proposal (Hunnicutt, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 9/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.