September 7, 2018 Edition

Statewide SSB Tax Ballot Initiative Cleared for Circulation, LAO Issues Analysis

On Thursday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra cleared for circulation the ballot initiative proposal by the California Medical Association (CMA) and California Dental Association (CDA) that would establish a statewide tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). The initiative would create a fund for public health programs to prevent, treat, and research obesity, diabetes, dental diseases, and other diseases linked to SSBs, as well as increase access to healthy food and drinks. The tax would consist of $0.02 per fluid ounce of SSB and specified beverages—such as milk, juice, infant formula, medical beverages, and low-sugar drinks—would be exempted.

As part of the circulation approval, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) issued an analysis of the proposal, anticipating annual revenues of $2 billion to $3 billion by 2022-23. Revenues would be spent in the following ways:

  • 82 percent for Health Care: Funds would be spent on existing programs for prevention and treatment of medical and dental diseases linked to SSBs.
  • 12 percent for Disease Prevention: Funds would be used to support programs that seek to reduce SSB consumption and prevent SSB-linked diseases.
  • 3 percent for Access to Health Foods and Water: Funds would pay for improving access to fruit, vegetables, and clean drinking water.
  • 3 percent for Research: Funds would support research on diseases linked to SSBs.

Proponents must gather 585,407 signatures by March 4, 2019, for the measure to appear on the 2020 ballot.

CDPH Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Undergoes Reorganization, Name Change

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CCDPHP) recently underwent an organizational restructure, visioning, and name change. The Center’s work is primarily comprised of chronic disease prevention, as well as public health programs that address environmental health, occupational health, injury and violence prevention, oral health, and problem gambling. Moving forward, CCDPHP will be known as the Center for Healthy Communities. Additional information on the Center is available here.

Homelessness Funding Webinar Set for Next Tuesday

Housing California and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) will host a webinar next Tuesday, September 11 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm on the $700 million in state funding included in the 2018-19 Budget Act available to communities for addressing homelessness. The webinar will feature speakers from Santa Clara County, Napa County, the State Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, and Brilliant Corners to discuss innovative funding models, one-time funding uses, and how to leverage state resources to maximize impact.

Additionally, Housing California and CSH have provided a policy brief that outlines the new funding eligibility and uses. Counties are encouraged to attend the webinar and participate in the webinar question and answer session. More information on the webinar is available here.