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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.

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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.

Read more on MontgomeryAdvertiser.com

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