SB 5371 Introduced today!

Jan 28, 2021 by

SB 5371 Introduced today!

We are in the third week of the 2021 Legislative Session and we wanted to provide an update on the idea of a statewide sugary drink tax, championed by Senator June Robinson. The bill, SB 5371, was formally introduced today and referred to the Senate Health and Long-term Care Committee.

Design of SB 5371 – We Heard You! 
Thank you for all the great input on the initial draft of the bill. Here are the key elements in the bill that directly reflect your collective input: 

  • Clearer Intent
    • Strengthening the intent section to place the goal of achieving health equity as a critical rationale for the proposed tax 
  • Deep Social and Health Equity Revenue Investments
    • Establishing a new health equity account in state law
    • Dedicating 60% of the overall revenue to address social determinants of health, with key objectives called out
    • Directing that 60% segment toward communities experiencing persistent health disparities
  • Capturing Authentic Community Voice
    • Specifying that community voice will help determine investment priorities
    • Establishing a true community advisory board (CAB) that is governor-appointed
    • Ensuring that the CAB has a role in both revenue allocation decisions as well as ongoing implementation
    • Ensuring linkage to both the new state office of equity and the governor’s interagency council on health disparities
  • Funded Evaluation Section 

We believe that SB 5371 represents the most equity-forward version of a sugary drink tax bill that we have seen to date. We remain committed to be as transparent as possible with all interested parties on this policy effort and will be reaching out again in the next week to numerous stakeholders to gauge reaction to this initial version of the bill. 

  • If you have input to share, don’t wait for us to make contact – please contact Victor Colman, COPC Director, 360.878.2543 or our community organizer, Jade Fisher
  • If you would like to endorse the bill and/or are interested in becoming a spokesperson, you can find the sign-up sheet here


Communities and states around the country are seriously considering sugary drink taxes with goals to:

  • Raise revenues for the use of addressing health, education and other important community needs (social determinants of health)
  • Reduce consumption of an unhealthy product
  • Call attention to the health risks of sugary drinks

Just as we tax non-essential and unhealthy products like alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, revenues from the sale of sugary drinks can support essential public health services, needed now more than ever due to the global pandemic. As important, a majority of the revenues will also be directly invested in communities experiencing persistent health disparities, especially low-income and communities of color, in order to achieve greater health equity.


  • American Heart Association
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition
  • SHAPE Washington
  • Consejo Hispano
  • Seattle Indian Health Board
  • MultiCare Health System
  • El Centro de la Raza

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