California State Sen. Deborah Ortiz has introduced the “California Soda Tax Act,” a measure that would impose a nine-cent tax on every two-liter bottle of soda sold in the Golden State. The funds raised would not go toward lightening California’s deficit but to “public health-awareness programs” and even to bribe schools: ”Half the money would go to school districts that agree to stop selling soft drinks on campuses,” The Orange County Register writes.

We’ve told you before how soda bans are the “wedge” issue in the War on Fat, and Ortiz cites “a growing epidemic with childhood obesity” as the reason for the legislation. Her bill follows State Sen. Martha Escutia’s effort to “remove junk foods from schools in the next four years” and Oakland’s recent school soda ban.

Writes the Register: “These matters are the responsibility of parents… Sodas and fast food are becoming the new tobacco, something busybodies want to harp about, ban and impose ‘sin’ taxes on. The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants even higher, neo-Prohibitionist taxes on alcohol and has attacked Chinese, Italian and Mexican cuisines for being unhealthy… What next, a Big Mac tax? And what happened to free choice and personal responsibility for dietary habits?”