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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker wants tax soft drinks as part of an effort to promote healthy living.
 
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat.
 
Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers.
 
Money generated from the levy would be used to pay for a variety of health services and educational efforts.
 
But Hunter's plan is already drawing criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes. The group is an alliance of manufacturers, retailers and union workers. They say taxing sodas would hurt the economy and cost the state jobs.
 
Other states have a similar tax, but previous efforts haven't been approved in Illinois.
Published in Local News

NEW YORK (AP) - The mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities are reviving a push against letting government food vouchers be used to buy soda and other sugary drinks.

 

   In a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday, the mayors say it's "time to test and evaluate approaches limiting" the use of the subsidies for sugar-laden beverages.

   New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office released the letter. Bloomberg is known for trying to bar eateries from selling sugary drinks in big sizes. He also has tried before to stop food stamps from going to buy soda.

   The U.S. Department of Agriculture turned down a 2010 request to let New York City do that.

   The USDA declined to comment on Tuesday's letter. The American Beverage Association didn't immediately respond.

Published in National News
Washington, DC (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is asking energy drink companies to stop marketing their products to children.

The Democratic senator from Illinois sent a letter Monday to the CEOs of Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster asking for an explanation for the companies' sponsorship of sporting events that target children.

Durbin says the companies have often claimed they do not market their drinks to youngsters. But he says he is aware of multiple situations that contradict their claims.

Durbin cites several examples in his letter, including a high school football tournament and a motorcycle race for children as young as thirteen endorsed by Red Bull.

Durbin says his letter stems out of growing concerns during the past year about the potential health risks posed by energy drinks.
Published in Local News

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