Thursday, February 28, 2008

School Nutrition Bill Clears Senate

A bill that would require the state's school districts and charter schools to sell only those beverages that meet science-based, nationally-recognized nutritional standards gained final approval by the Senate Thursday.

SB 129, sponsored by Sen. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, is an attempt to combat childhood obesity. The bill would direct the state Board of Education and the Charter School Institute to set rules establishing what nutritious beverages can be sold on campuses.

If enacted, the bill's provisions would go into effect for the 2008-2009 school year. Its terms would cover sale of beverages after regular school hours, such as when students are engaged in extracurricular activities. It would apply to sales of beverages in school cafeterias, vending machines, school stores and at fundraising activities conducted on school campuses.

The bill passed on a 20-13 vote, with Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, the only Republican in support. All Democratic Senators, except Paula Sandoval of Denver, voted for the bill. Sandoval and Republican Nancy Spence of Centennial were absent, though Spence voted against the bill in committee.