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One Alabama Solution: Small Sugary Drink Tax

With Alabama still in a budget crisis and Medicaid cuts underway, we continue to urge lawmakers to pass a small sugary drink tax that will ensure Medicaid will be fully funded. This will protect services for over one million residents.


Media Roundtable

To raise awareness of our solution, we hosted a media roundtable on June 14 with Voices for Healthy Kids for media partners across Alabama to learn and inquire about our proposed sugary drink tax.

A special thank you to our moderator and panelists:

  • Heather VacLav, Director of Digital Media at Starnes Publishing;
  • Christy Cain, Executive Director of Alabama Children First;
  • Jim Carnes, Alabama Arise Policy Director;
  • Jessica James, founder of Politika, Inc., Executive Director of McKemie Place and Chair-Elect of the American Heart Association Alabama Advocacy Committee;
  • Megan Lindsey-Taheri, Clinical Coordinator and Instructor at Samford University; and
  • Dr. Andre McShan, Occupational Health Expert at St. Vincent’s at Honda Manufacturing Inc. and President-Elect of the American Heart Association Birmingham Board of Directors.

Sugary Drink Tax

In case you’re wondering, the proposed tax would:

  • Be charged to whole sellers who sell drinks with five or more grams of added sugars; they will pay one penny per liquid ounce in taxes. Examples of sugary drinks include sports drinks, energy drinks and sweetened coffee. (Diet sodas would not be taxed.)
  • Raise $200 million for Alabama. That’s enough money to protect Medicaid, and the remaining funds would be able to go towards chronic disease prevention programs.
  • Happen with just one vote from the Alabama legislature! After the favorable vote, the funds would be raised immediately for the state. 
  • Encourage Alabamians to choose healthier drinks and ultimately improve their health.


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