A proposed new tax on sugary drinks appears unlikely to pass the state Senate, despite passionate campaigning by New York Gov. David Paterson and his health commissioner.
Supporters have pushed the tax as a way to combat obesity while bolstering funding for state health programs. But a number of Democratic senators are opposed, along with the entire Republican conference. With a 31-30 Democrat-Republican split in the chamber, the measure isn’t expected to draw the minimum 32 votes needed for passage.
The proposal would add a penny per ounce to the price of soda and sugary drinks with less than 70 percent fruit juice. It’s been projected to generate $1 billion annually when fully implemented and reduce consumption of the drinks by 15 percent.