Implications of Funding Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment or Prevention with Alcohol Tax Earmark (February 2015)

The impetus for this study was a request from the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission to the General Assembly to redirect the $1.4 million alcohol tax earmark from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and substance abuse treatment services to the ABC Commission’s underage drinking prevention initiative. During the course of this project, the ABC Commission approved an increase in the bailment surcharge, a fee that funds the Commission’s operations, to pay for the underage drinking prevention program, and therefore no longer needs the DHHS earmark. This report first details how DHHS uses the $1.4 million alcohol tax earmark and the potential consequences of redirecting the funding to the ABC Commission. Next, the report describes the ABC Commission’s past and present efforts to create and fund an underage drinking program, called Talk It Out. Finally, this report presents actions that the General Assembly could take to ensure the Talk It Out program is successful.

Final Report

Executive Summary


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