Soda tax proposal falling flat among NY lawmakers

(AP) - A proposed new tax on sugary drinks appearsunlikely to pass the state Senate, despite passionate campaigningby New York Gov. David Paterson and his health commissioner.

Supporters have pushed the tax as a way to combat obesity whilebolstering funding for state health programs. But a number ofDemocratic senators are opposed, along with the entire Republicanconference. With a 31-30 Democrat-Republican split in the chamber,the measure isn't expected to draw the minimum 32 votes needed forpassage.

The proposal would add a penny per ounce to the price of sodaand sugary drinks with less than 70 percent fruit juice. It's beenprojected to generate $1 billion annually when fully implementedand reduce consumption of the drinks by 15 percent.

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