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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Not Dead Yet: Different version of Soda Tax to be heard Wednesday
By News Release @ 5:19 PM :: 3549 Views


The Senate Committee on Health on Monday voted to remove the non-alcoholic beverage tax from legislation that they voted on.  This is an initial victory for families and consumers across Hawaii!  However, the same committee will be debating a similar beverage tax proposal on Wednesday, February 16 at 2:45 p.m.

This latest proposal would impose discriminatory taxes on soft drinks, juices, sports drinks and flavored waters - and would even tax fountain beverages in restaurants, convenience stores and movie theaters, as well as powders that you use in your home to make your favorite beverages.

ACT NOW: We need to continue to tell Senators NO NEW BEVERAGE TAXES. We need to show our power in numbers against unfair beverage taxes that hurt hardworking families.  Consumers of beverages can't afford more taxes and we don't want to put jobs at risk.  As a member of No Hawaii Beverage Tax, we need to continue telling legislators that the public is not in support of such discriminatory taxes.

Here’s how you can TAKE ACTION NOW
1.) Send an email to your state legislators by simply going to our coalition website at
NOHAWAIIBEVERAGETAX.COM and click on the “Take Action” link. 
2.) If you are a constituent of a member of the Senate Committee on Health, listed below, please call before Wednesday’s hearing at 2:45 p.m. and tell them, “We can’t afford any beverage or container taxes. As your constituent, I urge you to vote against them.” The names, email addresses and phone numbers of the committee members are at the bottom of this email.
3.) Call the governor’s office at (808) 568-0034 to express your opposition to this beverage tax proposal. Tell him, “We can’t afford any beverage taxes. As a consumer, my grocery bills are already high enough.
4.) Encourage friends, family members and neighbors to take action
by joining the coalition and sending electronic letters from the coalition website.
5.) Attend the beverage tax hearing on SB 1179 scheduled for Wednesday, February 16 at 2:45 p.m. at the State Capitol, room 229.

Thank you for your continued support. We will provide you with updates following this hearing.

No Hawaii Beverage Tax Coalition

  *   *   *   *   *

2011 Senate Bill 1179 (Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax)

  • Introduced by Sen. Rosalyn Baker (D) on January 26, 2011, establishes a tax on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in the state; and creates a children's health promotion special fund.
  • The Senate Committee on Health has scheduled a public hearing on 02-16-11 2:45PM in conference room 229.

Behavior modification bill bad for beverage distributors and consumers

From Grassroot Institute

In yet another attempt to change the behavior of consumers, penalize businesses and balance the state budget, Sen. Rosalyn Baker (D) introduced SB1179, which imposes a tax on every distributor selling sugar-sweetened drinks in the state. Initially, the money raised will go into a state treasury fund to be known as the children’s health promotion special fund, for statewide childhood obesity prevention activities and programs. Of course, there’s nothing in the bill that prevents the state from raiding this money for the general fund at some future date.

The U.S. government and American Indian tribal governments are exempt from the tax.

To voice an opinion on this measure, go to the public hearing at the state Capitol scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, at 2:45 p.m. in conference room 229.

Click here for the status of SB1179:

Start a discussion at or on HawaiiVotes Facebook.

Hawaii Votes is a free public service of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Its purpose is to inform citizens, community leaders, business people, media, and public officials about legislation that affects their families, schools, jobs and communities. The site empowers citizens to take a more active part in the democratic process, and hold their elected representatives accountable. Hawaii Votes gives users instant access to concise, plain language and objective descriptions of bills, substantive amendments, and votes that take place in the Hawaii Legislature. Unlike any other bill tracking utility, Hawaii Votes is unique because all legislative actions are described - not just those selected by a particular interest group. It is searchable by legislator, keyword, and 50 subject categories, so users can create their own custom "voting record guide." See the Web site at

Senator Josh Green (Chair)

Senator Clarence Nishihara (Vice Chair)    

Senator Rosalyn H. Baker

  • (808) 586-6070
  • South &West Maui (Makena, Wailea, Kihei, Maʻalaea, Lahaina, Kaʻanapali, Napili, Kapalua)

Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland      

Senator Maile Shimabukuro

Senator Glenn Wakai  

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