Connecticut is on the verge of passing the first statewide soda tax in the country. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently proposed a 1.5 percent per-ounce tax on beverages with added sugar, which could earn the state some seriously sweet cash—and all while making residents healthier!

While there are plenty of cities across the United States (and around the world) that already tax soda, there are no statewide laws. The proposed Connecticut law could earn the state a projected $163.1 million in its first year alone.

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In a statement to USA Today, Gov. Lamont’s spokesperson, Maribel La Luz, said, “The governor believes that in addition to addressing our long-term fiscal stability, the budget should also help outline policy priorities for our state.” Even though the state doesn’t seem to have a problem meeting or exceeding national health targets, a sugar-filled beverage tax could do more to reduce the incidence of some chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.

The proposed tax must still pass the Connecticut state legislature before Gov. Lamont can sign it into law. The proposed soda tax is already being met with resistance from some food and beverage industry leaders and manufacturers.

The big question of course, is whether or not soda taxes really work. The University of California, Berkeley has some answers. Following Berkeley’s 2015 adoption of a sugary drink tax, residents in lower income neighborhoods reported drinking 52 percent fewer servings of soda.

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—Erica Loop

 

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