Santa Fe archdiocese endorses soda tax to fund pre-K

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SANTA FE — The Roman Catholic Church is endorsing a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in New Mexico’s state capital city.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe threw its support Wednesday behind a soda tax of 2 cents per fluid ounce that would go toward expanding prekindergarten programs. Santa Fe voters will decide on the local tax May 2.

In a news release the archdiocese says municipal governments are being left with little choice other than to fund their own early childhood education programs because of a lack of state funding.

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester previously criticized state lawmakers this year for not approving a proposed constitutional amendment to fund early childhood education with money from a state sovereign wealth fund.

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Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, left, and City Councilor Chris Rivera walk past a Coke machine on their way to a news conference to announce a proposal to fund early childhood education with a soda tax. This was at City Hall in November. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

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