According to a report by the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers, Chicago Democrat Sen. Mattie Hunter (photo right) wants to impose a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed contrainers.
The reason? She wants to "increase awareness, improve public health and promote healthy living alternatives."
Citing unnamed studies about links between "surgary drinks" and obesity, Hunter said "We as a state need to do a better job of educating the public and children in particular about this issue and the health risks."
"You reduce consumption, and you reduce employment," said Brian Rainville, a spokesman for Teamsters Joint Council 25. "If there's less being made and distributed, there's fewer people doing those jobs."
The legislation would add $2.88 to the cost of a case of soft drinks, said Illinois Manufacturers Association Vice President Mark Denzler. "It's nearly a 50 percent increase in the cost of it. So folks that are scrambling to buy groceries are going to have it even harder."
But Hunter argues that her proposal, if it's approved, would save the state money but reducing the cost of health care, which the state and federal goverment are attempting to take over through Obamacare.