Illinois lawmakers block junk food ban
Springfield, Ill. – A committee of Illinois lawmakers blocked Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plan Tuesday to ban junk food in public schools. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which had final say on the rule, voted 10-1 against the plan.
The proposal would prohibit the sale of soda, chips and candy in elementary school vending machines. Lawmakers who sit on the panel said support restrictions but the proposal needs work, namely that it should also consider the nutrition of cafeteria meals as well.
A State Board of Education spokesman says officials will revise the plan to address lawmakers' concerns.
Under the rule that failed Tuesday, schools would be allowed to have in vending machines items including reduced-fat milk, including flavored milk; some fruit and vegetable drinks; granola bars; pretzels; popcorn; rice cakes; and crackers.
All soda and common sports drinks would be banned, along with most chips and candy; packaged pies, cakes and cookies.