SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Senate Committee on Governance and Finance passed Senate Bill 622 by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), a bill that would tax sweetened beverages in order to fund childhood obesity prevention, according to the senator's office.
"This is the first time this state committee has passed a bill that would place a tax on sugary drinks and the first step toward stemming the epidemic of childhood obesity," stated Senator Monning. "By taxing these products we will be able to implement programs that will assist in preventing diseases among children and begin to address a public health crisis, whose rising health care costs affect all Californians."
SB 622 passed on a 5 to 2 vote. By collecting an excise tax of one penny per fluid ounce on specified beverages that have a high level of caloric sweeteners, such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas, and sports drinks distributed in California, SB 622 will generate funds to support the newly created Children's Health Promotion Fund and finance programs statewide that will fight childhood obesity and prevention activities, the senator's office said.
"Californians are becoming increasingly concerned about the obesity epidemic and its heavy burden on the well-being of Californians, especially our children. More than ever, California voters want solutions that not only hold the biggest contributor to the problem (sugary beverages) accountable, but that also raise funds to address the impact on our children. SB 622 does both of those and is a smart, fair-minded policy to protect our children, our state's health and, ultimately our state budget," said Dr. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.