Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tax liquor to pay for treatment: Oregon governor

SALEM OR- With hard liquor growing in popularity, Gov. Ted Kulongoski said Tuesday that it makes sense to tap booze sales to pay for treatment and prevention programs.

Kulongoski told the audience at a ceremony for those providing alcohol and drug treatment services that his proposal calls for 2 percent of gross liquor sales to go to treatment and prevention - enough to put an additional $17 million into such services and add the ability to help 2,600 more people get help with their addictions.

Kulongoski said the increase was "only a drop in the bucket ... but I believe those dollars will go a long way to getting us back on track."

That increase, along with $4 million from the state general fund, would bring the total spending for treatment and prevention to $127 million, Kulongoski spokesman Jake Weigler said.

The governor said his proposal linked treatment to the growing number of people, and particularly underage drinkers, who use hard liquor. More details.

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