As reported earlier today, Bill Monning (D-Carmel) has dropped AB 1678, his bill which would have restricted food trucks near schools. The bill was presented as an effort to curb childhood obesity and the said efforts of some food trucks to target schools. In its introduced version, the bill would have restricted mobile food vending within 1,500 feet of schools, and then amended to a 500 foot restriction. But now, the whole matter's been dropped, with Monning saying in a statement that, "It wasn't ready for prime time."
So does that mean the Sacramento City Council is ready to hold hearings about food trucks? A recent hearing before the city's Law and Legislation committee was cancelled until the fate of AB 1678 was decided. That was the third time that mobile food vending issues were to be heard, and third time in a row they were taken off the books. We'll see what city leaders have to say now.
In the meantime, here's the full text of Monning's statement to drop AB 1678:
"Today, Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-Carmel) announced that Assembly Bill (AB) 1678, which would address mobile food vending near public schools, will not proceed further this year.
Assemblymember Monning said, 'Mobile food vending that targets students near school campuses remains a pressing issue. The challenge before us is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to establish a shared understanding about the adverse impacts of these practices and the necessity of a statewide legislative solution.
I am concerned that in communities across our state, mobile food vendors congregate just outside of elementary, middle, and high schools to direct sales at students before, during, and after the school day. I have seen this business practice first hand and will continue to prioritize children's health over profit. In that vein, I am working with the sponsors of AB 1678, California Food Policy Advocates, and supporters of the bill, like the California State PTA, to address issues impacting the health of our students.
For years, Californians have worked to remove sodas and unhealthful snacks from school grounds. Vendors are bringing these very items back to the school gate using the mobility of ice cream trucks, pushcarts, and other portable units. This undermines the statewide nutrition improvements that we have established.
As Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, I am alarmed that California's children face
unprecedented levels of obesity and overweight, making them susceptible to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, organ failure, stroke, and other preventable diseases. I remain committed to crafting legislation that promotes the life-long health of our children and the long-term success of our state.'"