Did you know that 23.9 million (or 31.8%) of American children are overweight, and of these, 12.7 million are obese?
Sadly, House Bill 4999 will severely undermine steps that could be taken to curb adult and childhood obesity in Michigan, stripping local governments of the ability to create initiatives that would help improve the health of Michiganders by specifically prohibiting the implementation of excise taxes on food.
As the American Heart Association understands it, this legislation is intended to simply clarify current statute and further reinforce existing constitutional provisions related to local level taxation, specifically on sugary drinks. While state laws do well to govern a minimum floor of expectations among our residents, we believe local municipalities should not be hindered or prohibited from enacting even stronger protections if their community supports doing so, particularly when it comes to health and nutrition. If we are to truly make an impact in the health of every citizen, local municipalities should have the freedom to choose what works best for their residents.
If you have not already taken action, please click here to email Governor Rick Snyder. Ask him to veto this legislation and tell him to support local communities that want to implement solutions to improve the health of their citizens!