Albany, NY – Beverage makers and health care unions spent millions of dollars in a battle over efforts to tax soda in New York, contributing to a record $211 million in lobbying expenditures in 2010.
The New York Post says the American Beverage Association led lobbying in the state with nearly $13 million. The group helped defeat former Gov. David Paterson’s effort to put a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks.
The tax was supposed to fund health-care programs. The Alliance for a Healthier New York, which was backed by labor unions, spent $2.9 million to support the tax.
The grocery store chain Wegmans Food Markets spent $1.3 million in an unsuccessful campaign to expand wine sales to food stores.
The lobbying numbers were compiled by the New York Public Interest Research Group.