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Bill to Ban Sports Drinks in Middle and High Schools Stalls In Committee

Bill to Ban Sports Drinks in Middle and High Schools Stalls In Committee

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Efforts by California health advocates to ban the sale of sugary sports drinks during the school day on middle and high school campuses were recently thwarted when AB 1746 was stalled in the Assembly Appropriations committee.

AB 1746, first introduced in February, sailed out of the Assembly Education Committee in late March by a 7-3 vote.  However, rather than proceeding to the floor for a full Assembly vote, it was instead re-referred to the Appropriations committee, where it was held under submission last Friday.

The California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and the California Medical Association (CMA) supports the ban as part of ongoing efforts to curb childhood obesity. (A list of other organizations that support the ban may be found here). Not on the list but also in support of the legislation is the San Francisco Medical Society.

In opposition to the ban are the California/Nevada Soft Drink Association, the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Automatic Vendors Council (CAVC). A few weeks prior to the hearing, on May 9, CAVC members met with legislators to voice their opposition to AB 1746. "They used their meetings to educate representatives about the challenges facing vending and coffee service operators in the state including high gas prices, increased workers compensation rates and loss of customers resulting from businesses leaving the state."

This is not your typical money-in-politics story.   As the tables below show, the supporters of the bill spent more in lobbying and made more political contributions than did the opponents, but were defeated nonetheless. Obviously, something else was at play that these numbers by themselves don't convey.

 

AB 1746 Supporters' Contributions and Lobbying Expenses

Organization

2010 Contributions to 2012 Lawmakers

Lobbying Expenditures Jan-March 2012

American Cancer Society

$0

$4,868

American Diabetes Association*

$0

$11,250

AFSCME California

$305,265

$119,531

American Heart Association

$0

$35,096

California Center for Public Health Advocacy

$0

$12,501

California Chiropractic Association*

$110,557

$22,360

California Dental Association

$705,549

$125,069

California Food Policy Advocates*

$0

$10,525

California Medical Association*

$486,908

$296,563

California Pan-Ethnic Health Networks

$0

$12,700

California Physical Therapy Association*

$100,900

$28,869

California School Nutrition Association**

$0

$0

California Teachers Association

$702,200

$541,028

San Francisco Medical Society

$4,500

$0

TOTAL

$2,415,870

$1,220,36

Not listed in table above are supporters that made no political contributions or lobbying expenditures.
*This organization is on record as supporting the legislation but did not specifically list AB 1746 in their 5th-quarter lobbying reports.
**The California School Nutrition Association reported no lobbying expenses from January through March 2012, but did list AB 1746 as a bill they lobbied on during the same time period.

 

AB 1746 Opponents' Contributions and Lobbying Expenses

Organization

2010 Contributions to 2012 Lawmakers

Lobbying Expenditures Jan-March 2012

California Automatic Vendors Council

$4,500

$7,832

California Chamber of Commerce

$105,721

$661,671

California Nevada Soft Drink Association*

$44,000

$54,316

TOTAL

$154,221

$723,819

*This organization is on record as opposing the legislation but did not specifically list AB 1746 in their 5th-quarter lobbying reports.

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