Michael Bloomberg has a new ally in Texas. Who, you ask? Senator Carlos Uresti. I am being somewhat facetious, of course, but the legislature has just given final approval to a bill that would ban sugary drinks, such as Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper, from public elementary and junior high schools.
HB217 completely flew under the radar. It passed the House on May 10th by an official vote of 95-44. However, a lot of members later complained that their votes were incorrectly attributed. Taking into account all of these errors, the real roll call was 92-49. All of the opposition came from Tea Party Republicans. Among the moderate Republicans voting in favor was Sarah Davis. I have heard for a while now that her close call election has moved her into the centre, and now I am really starting to see it.
At press time, the journal hadn’t gone up, but this article by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram states the roll call at 24-6. I can guess who the half-dozen Senators are, but I am positive as to their political party.
A few months ago, I penned an op-ed about how, by and large, Soda bans like the one in New York are silly, stupid and unneeded. However, I do see some good in this legislation. There is a big difference between a consenting adult and a little kid (14 and younger). This legislation would not apply to High School students.
The bill is not especially contentious, with most beverage associations as well as Coca-Cola itself supporting it. Time will tell if the Governor does too.