Miss mayors don't support Anti-Bloomberg bill - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Miss mayors don't support Anti-Bloomberg bill

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HERNANDO, Miss. (FOX13) -

It is being called the Anti-Bloomberg bill, a Mississippi Senate bill that if signed into law would not allow for the regulation of soda sizes or calories or portions at restaurants in Mississippi.

The bill is just the opposite of the Bloomberg bill, which was halted by a New York state judge that stopped New York City from implementing a ban on the sale of large sweetened drinks.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the judge's decision to strike down New York City's groundbreaking ban on big sugary drinks is merely a "temporary setback." The city has already begun the appeal process.

MYFOXNY.COM: NYC appeals judge's sugary drink ruling

Gov. Phil Bryant said he will sign the Anti-Bloomberg bill into law, but this is a law that is receiving zero support from mayors across the state.

The state's mayors don't like it for a number of reasons says Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson, mayor of the fittest city in the State of Mississippi also the President of the Mississippi Municipal League who speaks on behalf of all the mayors across the state.

"There is no city in the state who is about to enact a limit on sizes of sugar-sweetened beverages, or anything," Mayor Johnson said. "Quite frankly, I wish the State Legislature would deal with issues and get back to work, start dealing with issues that are issues and get back to business, stop messing with things that are grandstanding."
The proposed Anti-Bloomberg law has accomplished nothing more than making the state look bad, Mayor Johnson added.
"Well I think as you can see, the whole nation is running headlines saying the fattest state in the nation has decided to get fatter," he said. "So I don't think it makes us look very good. That's why it bothers me. The bill didn't need to be addressed at all."
According to the mayor of Hernando, word is the whole bill was introduced by State Sen. Tony Smith of Picayune, who owns a barbeque restaurant on the Gulf Coast near the Louisiana state line, who wanted to cause a scene.

"This bill is so crazy, that everybody probably would have been fine with it if all it did was say we can't legislate the size of drinks because nobody is going to do that," the mayor said. "But this goes further than that. The bill says we can't ask a restaurant to label their menus with calories and fat content, and everybody knows if you look at a menu and know what you are eating, it is going to help you make better choices. The legislature says people back home aren't smart enough to make these choices, and they are going to make these choices for you. That's why I oppose this bill."   

Mayor Johnson says he knows all the mayors in the State of Mississippi, and no mayor is about to enact portion- or drink-size control anywhere in Mississippi. He questions why waste time on an issue that really isn't an issue and makes the state look bad.

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