Bill would prohibit purchasing soda with food stamps in Florida

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CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 17: Cans of Coca-Cola soda are offered for sale at a grocery store on April 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Coca-Cola Co. reported an 8 percent increase in net income for the first quarter of 2012 with global volume growth of 5%. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WFTS) — A bill was filed on Friday that would no longer allow individuals in Florida who use food-assistance benefits to buy soda.

On Friday, Rep. Ralph Massullo filed bill HB 47 for January’s session.

Under the new bill, the Department of Children and Families would be required to receive federal approval before allowing the state to ban the purchase of soft drinks by using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The bill would prohibit anyone using SNAP benefits to purchase soft drinks. The bill defines a soft drink as a flavored carbonated beverage that is sweetened with natural or artificial sweeteners.

It states that if the waiver is denied, the department will submit a new request annually until a waiver is granted.

The program is similar to food stamps.

If the bill passes, it will go into effect July 1, 2018.