The Seattle Times reports that the Washington, DC-based American Beverage Association has put in more than $1 million for the signature gathering effort to get I-1107, which would repeal the taxes on candy, soft drinks, bottled water and certain processed foods that the legislature passed last session to help close the budget deficit.
Opponents of I-1107 point out that the anti-tax campaign is deceiving voters by referring to the tax on soda and candy as a “food tax.”
The Governor’s budget office released a forecast showing that state lawmakers will face a $3 billion budget deficit when they return to Olympia in January to write the next two-year budget. The budget forecast also shows the state will take in $200 million less than anticipated through June 2011.
Other News of Note
Politico reports that women’s heath advocates see signs of momentum in improving the military’s policies on reproductive health care. In February, military hospitals began stocking emergency contraception, and a Senate amendment under consideration would allow women to have abortions at military hospitals.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced the group of Catholic nuns who broke ranks with the bishops in support of health care reform, and said that the nuns are responsible for the passage of the legislation. The Conference of Catholic Bishops had advocated for more draconian restrictions on abortion access.
Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson notes that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who may be a contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is inclined to be less strident on issues like abortion rights, a characteristic that alarms social conservatives within the Republican Party.