- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2013

California lawmakers may put an end to food stamp recipients buying sugary drinks and soda with CalFresh, the state’s benefits program.

State Sen. Michael J. Rubio, a Democrat, introduced legislation that proposes to modify the list of allowable food items that can be purchased under CalFresh, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill would exclude beverages containing more than 10 calories per 8 ounces.

“With the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the Central Valley and throughout California, SB 134 is simply the first step in trying to reverse this alarming trend, particularly among children,” Mr. Rubio said, according to the Times.

CalFresh is administered by the state but paid for by the federal government, so the proposal would need Washington’s approval before it can ban soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi from the program.

The senator argues the rule will eventually save taxpayers money because of the health costs associated with obesity, the Times reports.