The idea is not new in Hawaii. During the 2009 session, Rep. Marilyn Lee introduced HB438 which proposes a tax on all soft drinks containing a certain percentage of sugar (to be determined) sold in the state. This does NOT include diet soda. The money would be used for community health centers and for public awareness on the importance of healthy lifestyles.
Rep. Marcus Oshiro also introduced HB1505 which proposes a tax on soda and syrup, with monies to go into the general fund.
Both bills stalled early in the 2009 session and were carried over to 2010. With the national attention on a soda tax and healthcare reform, the bills may be dusted off for reconsideration.