Rally for Substance Abuse Funding; Against Alcohol Tax Repeal
The Campaign for Addiction Prevention, Treatment and Recovery held a rally on Tuesday at the State House. The Campaign celebrated the inclusion of a Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund in both the House and Senate FY2011 budget proposals, which would direct revenues from the sales tax on alcohol to the dedicated fund. The additional funding would supplement existing funding for a comprehensive continuum of substance abuse care. The fund would help support critical substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery support services for 100,000 individuals throughout Massachusetts.
During the packed rally, Senator Steven Tolman (D-Watertown), Senate Assistant Majority Whip, spoke about the need to oppose the ballot initiative question to repeal the sales tax on alcohol, which has obtained enough signatures to be on the November 2010 ballot. The sales tax on alcohol produces over $100 million dollars in dedicated funding for public health services for residents with behavioral health problems. Massachusetts has some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse in the country and Sen. Tolman spoke about the great need for better services throughout the state and the great need for the dedicated funding. Health Care For All is a member of the Campaign.