California lawmakers target sweetened beverages with new bills



California lawmakers are once again trying to discourage the consumption of sugary drinks.

They offer, among other things, a tax, warning labels and a ban on soda stalls near pay lines.

The five bills announced Wednesday address what lawmakers call a public health crisis leading to an increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and others.

Other measures would ban soda coupons and the sale of soda in cups over 16 ounces.

The proposals include a tax on sweetened beverages that would be approved by a two-thirds vote. But health groups are also circulating petitions to impose a 2 cents per ounce tax on the 2020 ballot.

The beverage industry says that such a tax would be harder for people with low incomes and would have uncertain health benefits.


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