Sugar Sweetened Beverages

A small business organization is cheering the overturning of New York City's soda ban at the same time as a Suffolk County doctor and legislator prepares to testify before the U.S. Senate about energy drink marketing.

A state appeals court has ruled that New York City’s plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries was an illegal overreach of executive power, upholding a lower court decision back in March that struck the law down and dealt a blow to the outgoing Bloomberg administration.

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A Vermont house committee has reversed course.  After rejecting a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages last week, the measure has now been approved.

The Vermont House Health Care Committee had defeated the measure on a 5-5 tie vote on Friday after a committee member, a physician,  abruptly left.  Vermont Digger, an independent online newspaper, quoted committee chair Democrat Mike Fisher saying “The bill is dead”.  But on Wednesday, the panel voted in two 7-4 tallies to advance the measure.

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A prominent Vermont economist is warning that a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages will send more Vermonters out of state to shop.

Art Woolf of Northern Economic Consulting told the House Health Care Committee on Wednesday that retail activity on the Vermont and New Hampshire sides of the Connecticut River was even in 1969, when Vermont first instituted a sales tax.

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A coalition of groups is again calling on Vermont’s leaders to impose a tax on  sugar sweetened beverages to combat obesity.        

The Alliance for a Healthier Vermont is once again proposing that the state impose a one cent per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages. The Alliance has failed to get such a measure through the Legislature in past sessions.  American Heart Association Vermont Government Relations Director Tina Zuk says formal legislation will be introduced next week.