While the Senate was busy passing their budget and a $1 cigarette tax, the House had other issues on their minds: chocolate milk.
From the Sarasota Herald Tribune:
Nearly three hours after the 120 members of the Florida House began Thursday to debate the state’s budget, the agenda more closely resembled a talk radio show.
Nearly 20 minutes was devoted to a game of political one-upsmanship over whether to use between $34,000 and $62,000 in money set aside for teacher bonuses to instead help fund a Holocaust museum in the state. The end result: Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, saying that he was offended as a Jew to being forced into making such a vote, eventually casting a “no” vote against the shift.
After that, the House spent 30 minutes debating an amendment offered by Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami, to prohibit “school districts’ use of state funds provided for the school lunch and school breakfast programs from purchasing jellies, sauces, or liquids containing high fructose corn syrup.”
Zapata said the result would be chocolate milk, ketchup and other liquids and jellies sold with sugar rather than less healthy corn syrup that, Zapata said, was derived from the same feed corn fed to cattle.
Zapata, who has been battling the use of corn syrup for years, said the average American consumes 42 pounds of the dangerous compound each year.
“I just find this kind of hard to believe, that we are going to micromanage something like chocolate milk,” said Rep. Faye Culp, R-Tampa.
Arguing about the health damage caused by feed corn, Rep. Clay Ford, R-Gulf Breeze, hearkened back to his days as an Arkansas pig farmer.
“Have you ever seen a skinny pig?” said Ford.
The ban was added to the House’s $65 billion budget proposal.