MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont lawmakers are getting an earful about a proposal to levy a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages like soda.

Supporters of the measure says the state needs the revenue to pay for health programs, and that Vermonters need to be encouraged to drink less of the beverages, which have been tied to the increase in obesity nationwide in recent years.

Opponents of the tax say it would prompt many Vermonters - especially those living near the state's borders - to travel out of state to do their shopping.

Both the House Ways and Means Committee and House Health Care Committee are taking testimony on the issue Wednesday.