"On the Side of the Public's Health": PHI Statement on AB138
April 09, 2019
STATEMENT FROM MATTHEW MARSOM, VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY AND PROGRAMS
“The Public Health Institute congratulates the California State Assembly Health Committee for today voting out of committee, on an 8-6 vote, the California Community Health Fund (AB 138, Bloom), a statewide sugar-sweetened beverage tax whose revenues would be invested in community prevention and health equity.
“The evidence and experts are clear: soda has no nutritional value and is a major contributor to the chronic diseases that are killing our families and economy. Health committee members voted today on the side of the public’s health and prevention, acknowledging that liquid sugar is a health hazard. With the additional vote to move forward AB 764 (Bonta), Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: Nonsale Distribution Incentives, the committee is sending a clear message: Big Beverage companies will no longer get a pass on the damage caused by their products.
“The Public Health Institute has been proud to partner with Assemblymember Bloom as a co-sponsor of today’s and previous iterations of a statewide soda tax bill. We congratulate him for his leadership and tenacity in moving forward with what was right—even when others had yet to share his vision. We also commend Assemblymember Burke for her steadfast commitment to a bill that prioritizes equity; her leadership will continue to be critical as the bill moves to the Revenue and Tax Committee. We look forward to working with Assemblymembers Bloom, Burke and other legislators to shape a final bill that will guide funds towards creating healthier communities, prioritizing prevention and addressing inequities.”