A plan to add an additional penny per ounce to the sales tax on soda pop isn't likely to pass this year. Elissa Bassler, CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute, says the tax is needed not just to increase state revenues but to stave off Illinois' obesity epidemic.
Tim Bramlet, Executive Director of the Illinois Beverage Association, says the state's obesity problem is bigger than one product.
Dr. Kemia Sarraf, Director of Illinois-based non-profit Generation Healthy, says the state's soda habit contributes to obesity.
A report by the University of Illinois found a one-cent per ounce tax would reduce the number of obese Illinoisans by 185-thousand. It would also add 606 million dollars a year to the state's bank account. Beverage industry officials have been critical of the idea and say it would cause a decrease in sales, which would put people out of work.