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For Immediate Release
September 6, 2018
SOS Press Office
(916) 653-6575

Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Establishes Public Health Fund By Enacting Dedicated Statewide Tax On Distribution Of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponents of a new initiative were cleared to begin collecting petition signatures yesterday.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

ESTABLISHES PUBLIC HEALTH FUND BY ENACTING DEDICATED STATEWIDE TAX ON DISTRIBUTION OF SUGAR-SWEETENED DRINKS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Creates a fund for public health programs to prevent, treat, and research obesity, diabetes, dental diseases, and other diseases linked to sugar-sweetened beverages, and to increase access to healthy food and drinks. Enacts a dedicated statewide tax on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages ($0.02 per fluid ounce). Exempts specified beverages from tax—including milk, juice, infant formula, medical beverages, and low-sugar drinks. Requires audit of fund expenditures. Amends Constitution to allow new local taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state revenues starting in 2021-22. Annual revenues would be roughly $2 billion to $3 billion by 2022-23. The measure designates these revenues for health care; disease prevention; disease research; and access to fruit, vegetables, and water. (18-0004.)

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1855 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 18-0004.

The proponents of the measure, Dustin Corcoran and Carrie Gordon, must collect signatures of 585,407 registered voters (eight percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponents have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials no later than March 4, 2019. The proponents can be reached c/o Michael J. Strumwasser, Esq. and Beverly Grossman Palmer, Esq. at and, respectively.


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