Senate Passes Bill To Limit Soda Sales at Schools
The California Senate Thursday voted 22-14 to pass a bill (SB 677) that would restrict the sales of soda at middle schools and elementary schools, the Los Angeles Times reports (Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 8/29). Should Gov. Gray Davis (D) sign the bill, which would take effect July 1, 2004, California would be the first state to ban sales of soda at elementary schools, the San Jose Mercury News reports (San Jose Mercury News, 8/29). Under the bill, elementary and middle schools would have to begin to sell milk, water, fruit juice and fruit-based drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and have no added sweeteners, rather than soda. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Debra Ortiz (D-Sacramento), would allow soda sales more than 30 minutes before or after school, at school athletic events or as part of student fundraising events (California Healthline, 8/22). Children could still bring sodas from home to school, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports (Lawrence, AP/Contra Costa Times, 8/29). A provision that would have applied the ban to high schools was dropped in the Assembly Health Committee. A current law scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2004, would ban soda sales at elementary and middle schools, provided that the state allocate additional funding to schools for nutrition programs; that funding has not been appropriated. The Ortiz bill would not be dependent upon additional state funding (California Healthline, 8/22). Russ Lopez, a spokesperson for Davis, said that the governor has not taken a position on the bill yet (San Jose Mercury News, 8/29). However, supporters of the bill said that Davis is expected to sign it, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (Severson, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/29).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.