California is a leader in public health initiatives, being the first state to pass menu labeling legislation and to ban trans fats in restaurants. Now the state may be the first to add a tax on soft drinks.
On Thursday, California Sen. Dean Florez introduced a bill that would include a 1-cent levy on each teaspoon of added sugar and other caloric sweeteners in commercial beverages sold, according to Reuters. Bottling companies and producers of beverages and syrup for fountain drinks would be charged. The proceeds would be used for programs aimed at fighting childhood obesity.