Thursday, March 4, 2010

Councilmember Trachtenberg Attends Annapolis Rally for Alcohol Tax

Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg participated in a well-attended rally in Annapolis in support of an state alcohol tax (HB 832 | SB 717). County Executive Ike Leggett and various state delegates and senators were in attendance, including Maryland Delegates Bill Bronrott and Ana Sol Gutierrez and Maryland Senators Rich Madaleno and Jennie Forehand.

In her remarks Councilmember Trachtenberg spoke of the critical need for increased dollars for both mental health and addiction programming. As a trained clinician with a specialty in adolescent addiction, she spoke passionately about the need for more focused spending on substance abuse screening and early intervention programming. Councilmember Trachtenberg reminded attendees of the link between early drinking and subsequent behavioral health challenges and stated that "increased cost for alcohol consumption is the single biggest factor in deterring adolescent abuse of alcohol."

Councilmember Trachtenberg also evoked the poignant words of Winston Churchill in encouraging attendees to pursue strident advocacy both in Annapolis and in their communities: "Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."

With her participation, she joined a broad coalition of human services, health care and business groups in Annapolis to urge an increase in the tax the state imposes on alcohol. Revenue from the proposed 10-cent per drink increase would be dedicated to funding services for people with alcohol and substance addictions, developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and health care for the uninsured. Maryland has not increased its tax on wine and beer since 1972 or its tax on liquor and spirits since 1955. Maryland taxes on these beverages are the fourth lowest among the 50 states.

Doctors Pat Salomon, M.D. and Dana Beyer, M.D., Councilmember Trachtenberg’s Senior Advisors for Health and Human Services, also attended the Annapolis Rally.

For more information:

House Bill 832
Senate Bill 717
Press Release

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