The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season.Energyread more
Stocks rose on Friday, but notched weekly losses as investors worried the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.US Marketsread more
The combination of mounting recession fears, bets on a more cautious Fed and a regular uptick in market volatility could spell more losses.Marketsread more
The therapy, Zolgensma, is a one-time treatment for spinal muscular atrophy — a muscle-wasting disease and leading genetic cause of infant mortality, affecting 1 in every...Biotech and Pharmaceuticalsread more
SpaceX has raised just over $1 billion in financing since the beginning of the year.Investing in Spaceread more
An analyst for Ark Invest, which has a major investment in Tesla, says recent drastic price-target cuts by others on Wall Street are missing the big picture.Investingread more
A federal judge in California has blocked President Donald Trump from building sections of his long-sought border wall with money secured under his declaration of a national...Politicsread more
Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is seen as the bookmaker's favorite to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.Europe Politicsread more
The race is underway to find a vaccine that can control African swine fever, a highly contagious and deadly viral infection ravaging China's hog population. There is currently...Agricultureread more
Apple bought Tueo Health, which was developing tech to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in children, using a mobile app and commercial breathing sensors.Technologyread more
LOS ANGELES — A bill that would have slapped a statewide tax on sugary drinks in California stalled Monday when the lawmaker who authored it shelved the legislation until next year.
Assembly Bill 138 would have imposed a tax of 2 cents per fluid ounce on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages such as teas, and sports and energy drinks. It seeks to use the tax revenue to help fund programs to combat diabetes and other chronic health conditions.
AB 138 is opposed by the beverage industry as well as grocer groups and the California Chamber of Commerce. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which opposes the bill, estimated the tax could generate more than $3 billion in new costs for Californians.
However, the measure is supported by a coalition of organizations, including the California Medical Association, California Dental Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics.
According to the author of AB 138, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, the proposed soda tax measure will remain in the Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee over the remainder of this legislative year and will move forward through the legislative process next year. The bill's language claims there's a link between the consumption of sweetened beverages and diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
"While this is not the outcome I had hoped for, AB 138 remains alive in the legislative process, albeit on a slower track," said Bloom, a Democrat. This marks the third attempt by the lawmaker to pass a soda tax, including a "health impact fee" measure on canned soda drinks that legislators voted down last year.
Similarly, the beverage industry also opposed Assembly Bill 766, a measure to ban the sale of jumbo-sized sugary sodas, including 7-Eleven's Big Gulps. AB 766 was pulled earlier this month from consideration and isn't expected to be heard during this session.
The beverage industry and its lobbyists have spent nearly $12 million in the last two years in California fighting proposed soda taxes or health warnings, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month. The shelving of the proposed tax is seen as a victory for major soda companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
Besides taxing soda containers at a rate of 2 cents per ounce, the bill also would add a fee on syrups sold for sugary drinks. A report from the state's Legislative Analyst Office concluded "a two cent per ounce tax likely would reduce consumption by 15% to 35%. "
"We are glad the Legislature delayed action because California voters oppose a beverage tax which would be an unfair burden on working families, neighborhood businesses and employees already struggling with the state's high cost of living," said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association. "We remain committed to working with the Legislature on effective ways to address its budgetary and public health concerns and to ensure that food and beverages remain affordable to all Californians."
Some have suggested that state legislators may be wary of passing new taxes due to a political firestorm created after the 2017 passage of a gasoline tax increase. Orange County voters in June recalled a Democratic lawmaker from his state Senate seat. Sen. Josh Newman, whose seat was taken by a Republican, had been linked to a $52 billion transportation package, which included a 40% increase in the state's excise gas tax as well as increased vehicle fees.
"This delay is unfortunate because, with the health outcomes of millions of Californians at stake, there is no time to lose," said Bloom. "On the other hand, we will now have the time to build an even bigger and stronger coalition of supporters."