Thursday May 10, 2012

BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed a budget amendment that would allow cities and towns to decide whether they want to adhere to public health guidelines banning the sale of sweets and some other foods from being sold during school hours.

The state Public Health Department has approved regulations that take effect Aug. 1 banning, among other things, the traditional fund-raising bake sale. The agency said the measure is meant to fight childhood obesity.

Critics said it was an example of government overreach and would deny schools of a reliable revenue stream.

Concord Democrat Cory Atkins called the rule "the stupidest thing I've seen in my career."

The measure is up for vote in the state Senate on Thursday. If approved, it goes to the governor's desk.