Aurora lawmakers postpone voting on law regulating kids meal sweet-drink orders

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AURORA | A proposed ordinance over whether non-sugary drinks should be the default at Aurora eateries has sharply divided the Aurora City Council. It won’t see a final vote until at least August.

The local lawmakers were expected to take up the measure on Monday, but the bill’s sponsor, Councilperson Angela Lawson, requested that it be postponed until August, when the public can comment on the bill in-person. 

For now, city council meetings have gone virtual to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The temporary process asks the public to submit comments by email and are then read by the city clerk.

The proposed change in city law requires restaurants to offer children ordering kids meals water or milk. Sugary drinks could only be served by request. It makes Aurora the largest municipality in the state to impose such restrictions. Health officials have been supportive of the proposal, saying “sugary drinks (should be) the exception, not the rule.”

Progressive members of the city council agree, while conservatives call the proposal governmental overreach. 

“This is nannyism at its worst,” Councilman Dave Gruber said in March, at the proposal’s first floor vote.

Lawson said some members have spread “misinformation” about the resolution in an effort to squash it.