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California Lawmakers Seek Tax, Other Limits On Sugary Drinks

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers are trying again to discourage the consumption of sugary beverages. They’re proposing a tax, warning labels, and a ban on soda displays near checkout lines among other measures. The five bills announced Wednesday address what the lawmakers call a public health crisis leading to an increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other ills. Other measures would ban soda discount coupons and selling soda in cups larger than 16 ounces. The proposals include a fee on sugary beverages that would take a two-thirds vote to approve. But health groups are also circulating petitions to put a tax of 2 cents per ounce on the 2020 ballot. The beverage industry says such a tax would fall harder on those with lower incomes and would have uncertain health benefits.