California lawmakers are looking to pass a bill that would require restaurants to serve only water or unflavored milk with kids' meals in hopes of combating obesity and other diseases linked to sugar consumption.
Senate Bill 1192 passed the Assembly on Thursday but still requires one more vote before being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
The bill doesn’t outright ban sugary beverages and would still allow customer to request alternative options, like soda and juice, the Modesto Bee reports.
Supporters of the bill argue the importance of providing healthy options to children.
“Kids’ meals shouldn’t come with a side order of diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento.
However, critics argue it’s up to parents to make those choices, not the government.
“Seriously, like, what’s next?” Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach, said. “Are we going to insist that you have to have kale in your salad unless you specifically ask otherwise?”
In July, Baltimore became the biggest U.S. city and first on the East Coast to pass a similar ordinance, barring restaurants from serving unhealthy sugary beverages with kids’ meals and instead opting for milk, 100 percent fruit juices, water, and flavored or sparkling water without added sweeteners.
Baltimore restaurants that don't comply with the ordinance will be faced with a $100 penalty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.