California lawmaker drops proposal to ban food trucks near schools
Faced with backlash from food-lovers and cooks, Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Carmel) said Wednesday he is dropping a proposal to ban food trucks from close proximity to schools.
Monning, who is chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, said his AB 1678 lacked the votes to win approval this year, so he will look for other ways to address his concern over obesity among school children.
"Our calculus was it was still not ready for prime time," Monning said of his bill.
The measure continued to draw strong opposition from the food-vending industry even though Monning had recently agreed to change it to reduce from 1,500 to 500 feet the distance that food trucks would be banned from schools.
Monning said he would not rule out proposing another bill restricting food trucks next year, but that he is also looking at other ways of improving student health.
"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," Monning said in a statement. "I have seen this business practice first hand and will continue to prioritize children’s health over profit."
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: John Hill plays with his son Jackson, 3, while waiting in line at the Gastrobus at the Los Feliz Farmers Market; a bill in the state Assembly to ban such food trucks from close proximity to schools was dropped. Credit: Christina House / For The Times