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. “This is a middle-class regressive tax,” he said. “67 cents (tax) on a 2-litre bottle that’s priced at a dollar? That really hurts working people.”
“By investing in evidence-based solutions like healthier foods and physical education in schools, worksite wellness, farmers’ markets,” said Janna Simon of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, the bill “is a critical tool to making real progress on obesity and chronic disease prevention.”
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.