The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday rejected the latest effort by health groups to impose taxes on sugar-flavored soft drinks and other beverages to fight what was described as an epidemic of diabetes.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 1357 by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, would have imposed a two-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages, making soda-drinking more expensive and raising at least $3.5 billion a year for health education and dental programs. It garnered only six votes in the 19-member committee, all from Democrats, while three Democrats joined seven Republicans in opposition and three Democrats didn’t vote, which had the same effect as voting no.
“Don’be be fooled by the arguments made by the opposition,” Bloom pleaded before the vote. “The driving cause (of diabetes) is too much sugar.” (Sac Bee, 12 May, 2015)