Soda Tax Proposal Dropped; Bill Amended to Phase Out Soft Drink Sales at Schools
Amid opposition from some lawmakers and school officials, Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) yesterday dropped a proposal to place a state tax on soda and other sweetened drinks, the Sacramento Bee reports. Ortiz had proposed the tax provision as part of a larger bill (SB 1520) (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 5/1). The legislation, passed earlier this month by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, would have imposed on beverage distributors a two-cent excise tax for each 12-ounce serving of soda or other sweetened beverage. The legislation, which would have exempted diet sodas, infant formula, milk products and soft drinks that contain more than 10% natural fruit juice, would have raised about $342 million per year that would have gone toward obesity prevention and other programs, as well as helped schools decrease their reliance on vending machine contracts with soda companies (California Healthline, 4/23). Ortiz yesterday amended the bill so that it would phase out soft drink sales on school campuses over five years, banning the beverages entirely by 2007 (Sacramento Bee, 5/1).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.