Springfield, Ill. — The Illinois Beverage Association (IBA)’s Executive Director Jim Soreng issued the following statement in reaction to the introduction of a proposed soda tax (SB 1584 and HB 2667) by Senator Mattie Hunter and Representative Robyn Gabel:
“With approximately 100,000 Illinoisans directly and indirectly employed in the beverage industry, our industry continues to play an essential role in our state’s economy and in the effort to reduce obesity. If we want to get serious about obesity, it starts with education – not laws and regulation. Voters do not support taxes and bans on common grocery items and the public policy debate must move onto real health solutions.
Demonstrated by our wide variety of product offerings, providing low-calorie options in schools, placement of calorie counts on all packages and overall reduction of calories in beverages by 23 percent, the Illinois Beverage Association will continue to do its part to help reduce obesity rates in Illinois.
“Let’s work together to find real solutions that address the nation’s health problems while ensuring that important industries in the state are not stunted by punitive, ineffective taxes.”
For more information about the Illinois Beverage Association, visit http://www.illinoisbeverage.org/.