Maryland health care and labor groups are pushing state lawmakers to pass a dime-a-drink alcohol tax during the next legislative session.
The groups sent out letters Monday urging lawmakers and candidates for elected office to approve the tax — which would amount to roughly $2.40 on a case of beer — to help fund health care services for people with developmental disabilities.
Maryland lawmakers have long considered the tax, but the Senate and House remain divided over the issue — mainly because the proposal pits the state’s powerful liquor industry against the needs of those with developmental disabilities. The dime-a-drink bill failed in the last session, and a similar 5-cent alcohol tax failed the year before.
Roughly half of the $200 million in revenues the tax would generate each year would help expand Medicaid for childless adults, and the rest would fund services for the mentally disabled and programs for drug and alcohol addiction.