Sugary drinks fee gains traction in Hawaii Senate

Fee on sugary drinks gains traction as Hawaii Senate committee approves bill

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) -- The state Senate judiciary committee has pushed forward a proposal to add a fee to sugary beverages in Hawaii.

The judiciary committee's vote Tuesday came just a day after the Senate health committee approved the same bill.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the fee is an important way to fight obesity.

The governor says the fee could raise $38 million in revenue over the next two years while reducing consumption of sugary drinks by 8 percent to 10 percent.

The American Beverage Association says taxing sugary drinks won't change the obesity rate.

The organization says it would be better to limit what kids drink at school.

Members of Hawaii's local beverage industry worry the move could hurt jobs and businesses.

The Senate ways and means committee will hear the bill next.

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