With the introduction of legislation to increase taxes on sugary drinks and to ban the use of trans fats and salt in restaurants, Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,C,I – Greenwood Lake) questioned the priorities of state lawmakers during this important time when the state’s main responsibility should be finding solutions to meet the fiscal obligation of the state.
“The fact that right now, when we should instead be discussing the budget, my colleagues are introducing bills on sugar and salt, proves that they truly do not realize how bad the state of our state really is. Combating childhood obesity and encouraging residents to make healthier food choices is important, but our real responsibility lies in crafting and passing an on-time and fiscally responsible budget that helps residents keep their homes and jobs,” said Assemblywoman Rabbitt.
Governor Paterson included a provision in his budget proposal that would create a new tax on sugary drinks, such as soda and juice; on top of existing legislation to ban trans fats, a Brooklyn assemblyman has now introduced legislation to ban all restaurants in the state from using salt, and impose a $1,000 fine for restaurants that violate this law, if enacted.
The assemblywoman, who is also a small-business owner, stated, “Right now, ideas like this are simply ridiculous. Why are Albany’s downstate politicians intent on making it more difficult for businesses to survive? We need them to thrive. We must get the economy back up and running in order to prevent more jobs from being lost, more home foreclosures, and the hemorrhaging of residents out of our state. Clearly, New York City politicians are not in touch with the real problems facing our state, or even their own constituents – people in the Bronx and Brooklyn need jobs just like those of us here in the Hudson Valley. It is offensive that instead of discussing the budget, sharing ideas to spur job creation and support struggling businesses, these are the ideas coming from lawmakers in Albany.”