The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a bipartisan budget group has been working to develop a proposed state budget that could be released later this week. It’s time to ensure legislators know that you support the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) proposal- the sugary drink tax that raises an estimated $600 million a year to invest in health- as part of the negotiated budget.
As you know, the tax is a penny per ounce on high-sugar beverages only (diet and low-sugar drinks, water, and milk are excluded) and is paid by the distributors of those beverages. Estimated to raise over $600 million a year, the Healthy Eating Active Living proposal would put $500 million in Medicaid and $100 million into improving community health through increased access to affordable healthy foods, safe places for kids and families to play and be active, and nutrition and physical education in schools, among others.
It’s critical we invest in the health of Illinoisans while also generating revenue to help end this budget impasse.