It is with genuine disappointment that we inform you that SB 203, the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Labeling Bill, authored by Senator William Monning, and co-sponsored by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, Latino Health Access, and California Black Health Network, has failed in the Senate Health Committee with only four out of the nine Senators voting in our favor. Wednesday afternoon, Senator Ed Hernandez, Committee Chair, along with Senators Isadore Hall, Richard Roth, and Janet Nguyen abstained from voting while Senator Jim Nielsen voted against the Bill.
Senator Holly Mitchell made an impassioned, moving statement about the need for the Senate Health Committee and the Legislative body to reconcile their personal preferences with their legislative responsibility about obesity and diabetes. Kudos to Senator Mitchell for stepping up and for her support of this bill. CBHN was also very proud of our 2014 Heroes in Health Awardee, Senator Richard Pan, for his supportive public statements and prodding questions challenging the opposition. Additional thanks to Senator Lois Wolk, for her "Aye" vote, and of course, to Senator William Monning for authoring this bill.
Unfortunately, SB 203 (Monning) did not receive enough votes to make it out of Senate Health Committee. Our allies, and the bill's sponsor, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, puts it best:
An immense disappointment. CA Senate Health members took step backward in pub. health & failed to pass #sodawarninglabel bill #SB203.
You can help advance legislation to stem the growth of diabetes and promote healthy options to consumers. Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in California and continues to disproportionately impact communities of color. Two legislative proposals are seeking to help make consumers aware of the health problems associated with sugar-sweetened drinks and to promote healthy alternatives. Please send in your letter of support for AB 1357 (Bloom) and SB 203 (Monning).
Letters of support must be received by this Wednesday, April 15th, so please download and send in your letter TODAY.