Illinois Senator sponsors bill to tax sugary beverages

By WEEK Producer

February 18, 2014 Updated Feb 19, 2014 at 2:14 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – An Illinois Senator is proposing a tax on sugary drinks.

The bill, sponsored by Chicago Democratic Senator Mattie Hunter, is part of an effort to promote healthy living.

The legislation would place a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers.

The money raised by that tax would be used to fund health services and educational efforts.

Other states have a similar tax. This is not the first time Illinois has considered such a tax.

In 2011, the Cook County Department of Public Health recommended that legislators approve a tax of 2 cents per ounce on all sugary beverages.

The bill is already drawing criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes who said the tax would cause people to lose their jobs.

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