Several advocacy groups are asking Governor Walker to veto a measure in the state budget that would forbid local governments from enacting bans on unhealthy food or setting limitations on serving sizes. The head of a group who has signed onto the letter says the budget provision would stop the “innovation” that occurs at the local level.
“We got here with an obesity epidemic by doing nothing. Clearly that is not the answer to reduce the obesity epidemic which is costing businesses millions and millions of dollars every year,” says Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of Health First Wisconsin, referring to health care costs from obesity related issues.
Busalacchi says the measure would interfere with municipal workers’ wellness programs by not allowing these workplaces to set nutrition standards such as healthy snacks in vending machines.
A grocers trade group is in support of the budget provision. Brandon Scholz, president of the Wisconsin Grocers Assocation, says without it, business may have to deal with local “nutrition cops.”
AUDIO: Scholz on why he opposes these types of local ordinances (:18)
Walker has not taken a stance on this provision which was added into the spending plan by the legislature’s finance committee.
WIBA’s John Colbert contributed to this report