Tensions between Japan and South Korea come as the U.S. and its trading partners are embroiled in a global trade war.Technologyread more
The one-to-eight stock split would mean the current number of ordinary shares — which stands at 4 billion — will increase to 32 billion. It comes ahead of a reported Hong Kong...Asia Marketsread more
Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy meeting in July showed the central bank was ready to adjust interest rates if required.Asia Marketsread more
Current and former Tesla employees working in the company's open-air "tent" factory say they felt pressure to take shortcuts to hit aggressive Model 3 production goals,...Technologyread more
China's fiscal spending increased 10.7% in the first six months from a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Tuesday, underlining the government's bid to support the...China Economyread more
The findings by McKinsey and Company come amid a year-long tariff fight between the U.S. and China, which has spilled into areas such as technology and security.China Economyread more
Microsoft's considerable reach into the corporate world isn't something Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is very concerned about.Technologyread more
A devastating outbreak of African swine fever that has killed millions of pigs in China is changing attitudes in a country where farm hygiene has often been seen as lax by...Livestockread more
In a closed-door meeting at a Manhattan mansion, executives outlined changes to controversial software that was implicated in two crashes.Aerospace & Defenseread more
President Donald Trump and the RNC are picking up key supporters in the business community who did not back him as a candidate in 2016.2020 Electionsread more
Amazon workers in Minnesota and Germany are striking as Prime Day kicks off, in a stand against working conditions and wage practices. The action in Minnesota represents the...Retailread more
There's a new effort to bring a statewide sugar-sweetened drink tax to California.
The measure is meant to fight childhood obesity and dental disease. But it could upend a compromise reached with the beverage industry in June that banned new local taxes on soda until 2031.
The California secretary of state's office late Thursday gave proponents the green light to start collecting signatures to qualify the sugary-drink tax measure for the 2020 ballot. It follows previous attempts to pass a statewide soda tax in California.
The tax could raise $2 billion to $3 billion by 2022-23 to pay for public health programs, according to estimates by the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst's Office. The proposed measure exempts diet sodas, milk and juice, as well as infant formula and medical beverages.
In June, the state legislature banned new local soda taxes until 2031, but that measure doesn't currently apply to statewide taxes. Assembly Bill 1838, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, was a compromise with the beverage industry, which had funded a ballot measure that would have made it tougher for local governments in California to raise new revenues.
The California Medical Association and California Dental Association proposed the statewide tax on soda and other sugary beverages after the beverage industry prevailed in its efforts to defeat new new local soda taxes.
"For too long, California has lacked adequate support for programs that address the health effects of consumption of sugary beverages," said Natasha Lee, practicing general dentist and president of CDA. "With this initiative, our state has the opportunity to improve public health, especially among children."
If passed, the proposed initiative would create a new two-cent-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks. The majority of the revenue would go to fund prevention and treatment programs for medical and dental diseases linked to sugary drinks. A portion of it would pay for improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables as well as research on diseases linked to sugar-sweetened drinks.
In addition, the CMA and CDA measure seeks to unwind the state legislature's compromise reached in June with the beverage industry. It would amend the state constitution to allow new local taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks.
The proposal still needs the signature of 585,407 registered voters to qualify for the 2020 ballot. Proponents have until early March 2019 to submit the signatures.
The American Beverage Association has spent millions of dollars around the country in the past decade to defeat soda tax efforts or to fight warning label requirements.
"Everyday grocery shoppers in California are struggling with affordability in the state — from housing to transportation to taxes," the ABA said in a statement. "Rather than further driving up costs at the supermarket, we believe there is a better way for health advocates, government and California's beverage companies to work together to help people reduce sugar consumption while at the same time protecting consumers' pocketbooks and the small businesses that are so vital to our communities."
Last year, California Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, introduced a statewide measure that would have taxed sugar-sweetened beverage products to fund programs in communities to reduce diabetes, obesity and heart disease, as well as dental disease.
However, Assembly Bill 1003 failed to pass the legislature. There were also earlier attempts to tax sweet drinks statewide, but they too were defeated by the industry although the city of Berkeley passed the nation's first tax on sugary drinks in 2014.
According to AB 1003's analysis presented to the Assembly Health Committee last year, "California is facing a diabetes and obesity epidemic, yet spends less than any other state on prevention." It estimates nearly 2.5 million Californians, or almost one out of every 10 people in the state, live with diabetes and another 13 million residents have what's considered "pre-diabetes."
At the same time, the state analysis indicated that the national obesity rate more than doubled among adults and tripled among children in the period from 1980 to 2010. It also claims the rates are higher in low-income communities.
Besides Berkeley, three other cities in San Francisco Bay area have taxes on sugary drinks, including Oakland, San Francisco and Albany. The sugary-drink taxes from the four cities combined generate an estimated $25 million annually, according to state estimates.