Beverage industry working to stop fees in any budget deal

FILE - In this May 18, 2016 file photo, sodas and energy drinks are stacked and line the shelves in a grocery store in Springfield, Illinois. The World Health Organization, in a statement timed for World Obesity Day on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, has recommended that countries use tax policy to increase the price of sugary drinks like sodas, sport drinks and even 100-percent fruit juices as way to fight obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — One group is stepping up efforts to make sure some ideas floated during Connecticut’s regular legislative session don’t find their way into a yet-to-be-reached two-year budget agreement.

A coalition calling itself “Keep CT Affordable” is an initiative partly funded by the American Beverage Association. It’s been using social media this summer to persuade state lawmakers not to resurrect proposals such as a higher handling fee on returnable bottles and cans; an expansion of the bottle redemption law to include teas, juices and sports drink; and the imposition of a state excise tax on sugary drinks.

The group’s mantra is: “Don’t let lawmakers nickel and dime you.”

The American Heart Association still hopes lawmakers will agree to a new excise tax on sugar-added beverages to help raise money for health-related programs.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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