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Two Maryland state senators make last push to increase state’s alcohol tax

Two Maryland state senators have made a late push to increase the state’s alcohol tax to boost education funding and help the developmentally disabled.

Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell, D-Baltimore, and Sen. Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday. The Senate already has passed a bill to raise the tax from 6 percent to 9 percent over three years.

Delegate Kathy Afzali, R-Frederick, says she’s concerned a sales tax increase could stop people in other states from coming to Maryland to buy alcohol. She also questioned whether the extra revenue would be directed to the purposes outlined in the bill.

Madaleno says lawmakers have written the bill carefully to ensure the money won’t be redirected to other places.

The legislative session ends Monday at midnight.