MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont panel has withdrawn support for a proposed tax on sugary soft drinks that it approved two days earlier.
Members of the Vermont House Health Care Committee voted 5-5 Friday for H. 234, a bill that would impose a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks and use the money to pay for programs related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Rep. George Till, D-Jericho, the sponsor of the bill, is an obstetrician.
Till also has argued that the tax could “substantially reduce the average 44 gallons a year of sugar-sweetened beverages” that the typical Vermont resident drinks each year.
The bill needed a majority vote, not just a tie, to advance in the Health Care Committee.
On Wednesday, members of the same panel voted 7-2, with two absences, to support the bill.
The House Appropriations Committee may still hold a hearing on the bill, and Till and other supporters said they’ll keep fighting for the bill there and in other legislative committees.