Illinois lawmakers did not have an appetite to add a penny-per-ounce tax on sugared drinks to pay for public health programs.
Not even the chairman of a House committee hearing the bill, State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), had the appetite for it. βThis is a middle-class regressive tax,β he said. β67 cents (tax) on a 2-litre bottle that’s priced at a dollar? That really hurts working people.β
βBy investing in evidence-based solutions like healthier foods and physical education in schools, worksite wellness, farmers’ markets,β said Janna Simon of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, the bill βis a critical tool to making real progress on obesity and chronic disease prevention.β
The bill would have raised an estimated $600 million a year for those programs but would not have helped the overall budget questions dominating Springfield discussions this week.
HB 397 has failed to pass the House Revenue and Finance Committee.