By Greg Janetka
MADISON, Wisconsin: Republican members of the Legislative Joint Finance Committee voted yesterday to add a provision to the budget that would prohibit Wisconsin cities from banning or restricting the sale of any food or drink based on nutritional criteria.
Rep. Pat Strachota (R), who sponsored the measure, called it the "anti-Bloomberg bill,” in reference to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has worked to limit the size of sodas. Strachota said she likes to order an extra large popcorn and soda at the movies, stating, “I want to make sure I can continue having that experience and don’t have government telling me I can’t have that experience.”
Democrats, meanwhile, pointed out that no cities in Wisconsin have such a ban. They also said the measure was ironic as three days earlier the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a Republican measure restricting how much junk food can be bought using food stamps.
Rep. Dean Kaufert (R), who sponsored that bill, acknowledged that he had not seen figures on how much had been used on such purchases, saying it was in response to hearing stories about food stamps being used for large junk food purchases.