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updated: 2/18/2014 10:29 AM

Illinois Senate eyes tax on soft drinks

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Associated Press

An Illinois lawmaker wants to tax soft drinks as part of an effort to promote healthy living.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat.

Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers.

Money generated from the levy would be used to pay for a variety of health services and educational efforts.

But Hunter's plan is already drawing criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes. The group is an alliance of manufacturers, retailers and union workers. They say taxing sodas would hurt the economy and cost jobs.

Other states have a similar tax, but previous efforts haven't been approved in Illinois.

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