Disabilities advocates rally for alcohol tax money
More than 100 advocates for Marylanders with developmental disabilities rallied today in front of the State House, imploring passing lawmakers to increase the alcohol tax and send more aid their way.
The General Assembly is considering the so-called "dime-a-drink" proposal, but many lawmakers have said that if alcohol taxes are raised, they want any increased revenues to flow to the strapped general fund, not to specific causes.
Chanting "DD link, dime a drink" and "Ten cents makes sense," the supporters thrust cardboard dimes into the air and distributed information about disabilities funding. From his wheelchair, Aaron Kaufman (pictured), who has cerebral palsy, said he sees the issue as "about whether the legislature choose the people or the powerful." The alcoholic beverages lobby has campaigned against the bill.
Kaufman, a member of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, said he knows lawmakers would prefer to push any increased revenue into the general fund but urged them to slice off a piece to help pay for services for the developmentally disabled.
"We will not tire until at least some of the money is devoted to us," he said.