Bill Monning's soda tax bill held, but not dead

June 05, 2013

A proposed tax on sugary drinks sold in California was blocked Thursday, but bill author state Sen. Bill Monning hasn't soured on its chances to eventually become law.

"In my view it's not a question of whether, but a question of when," said Monning, D-Carmel, after the Senate Appropriations Committee held his Sweetened Beverage Tax from further action this year.

He called the committee's action, technically known as holding the bill in its suspense file, "a bump in the road and no real surprise."

The bill would impose a 1-cent excise tax per ounce of beverages that contain a high level of caloric sweeteners such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks. The estimated $1.7 billion in annual revenue would be used in a state fund to promote programs to prevent childhood obesity.