- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A coalition of Vermont hospitals and other groups is calling for a stiff new tax on sugary beverages, which have been linked to obesity, especially in children. But the leader of the Vermont Senate disagrees.

The Alliance for a Healthier Vermont, which also includes businesses, the statewide teachers’ union and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, wants an excise tax on sugary beverages of 2 cents per ounce. It would use the money to offset health care costs and for food programs for low-income Vermont residents.

But Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell said Tuesday the tax is not the way to encourage healthy behavior. He says it will hurt businesses and put parts of Vermont near New Hampshire, including his Windsor County district, at a competitive disadvantage.

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