A legislative effort to add a warning label to soda cans because of their sugary content stalled last session, but activists hoping to limit the prominence of soft drinks in California haven’t given up their fight.
The California Endowment, a private health foundation, is launching an initiative to install new water filtration stations in communities and schools around the state as a “healthy alternative.” According to the organization, 2.5 million students lack access to clean drinking water during school meals, and substituting “junk beverages” daily increases their risk of diabetes by at least 26 percent.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will be on the south steps of the Capitol at 9:30 a.m. to announce the project, which will kick off at the end of January with the installation of 120 “clean water taps” across California.
Following visits with lawmakers, Oliver will be joined by famed Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters and chef Ann Cooper to promote healthy school lunches, 12:25 p.m. at Pacific Elementary School.
VIDEO: Gov. Jerry Brown's goal to cut in half the amount of transportation fuel California uses is a tall order, Dan Walters says.
TO SELL OR NOT TO SELL: As Attorney General Kamala Harris decides whether or not to approve the sale of the non-profit Daughters of Charity hospital system to the for-profit Prime Healthcare Services, her office is holding public hearings across the state this week. After meeting in the Los Angeles area on Monday and Tuesday, the hearings will continue in San Jose today, Gilroy tomorrow and Moss Beach and Daly City on Friday – all communities served by Daughters of Charity hospitals. While dozens of Democratic politicians and several labor unions have come out against the sale over concerns that Prime would cut services to low-income patients, as well as workers’ pay and benefits, registered nurses have been pushing hard to keep the deal alive.
CONSIDER YOURSELF: The Senate Rules Committee will weigh in on a dozen gubernatorial appointments today. Among those required to appear for the 1:30 p.m. hearing in Room 113 of the Capitol: California Community Colleges board member Geoffrey L. Baum, Office of Technology Services Chief Davood Ghods, and Susan J. Husari and Richard G. Wade of the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Christmas card icon Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, who turns 55 today. And a belated nod to local Assemblymen Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, who turned 51 on Monday, and Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, who turned 43 yesterday.
READ MORE: Big business wins Capitol food fights
Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.