The Arizona House of Representatives Commerce Committee has reportedly approved a bill (H.B. 2490) that would block cities and counties from enacting laws that would prohibit restaurants, food establishments or convenience stores from offering “consumer incentive items” with meals. Scheduled to go before the House for a full vote, the law identifies the items as “any licensed media character, toy, game, trading card, contest, point accumulation, club membership, admission ticket, token, code or password for digital access, coupon, voucher, incentive, crayons, coloring placemats or other premium or prize or consumer product.”
Telling a news source that “government needs to stay out of the way of free enterprise,” Representative Jim Weiers (R-Glendale) challenged arguments that toy giveaways tied with high-fat, high-calorie meals contributed to childhood obesity. “Ask the parents who are supposed to be ultimately responsible,” he said. But House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D-Phoenix) asserted that the issue should be left to local governments. “If the cities want to try and do that and the voters of the city are unhappy, the voters of that city can throw out that city council and that mayor,” he said. See The Sierra Vista Herald, February 25, 2011.