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Maryland Matters: Lawmakers Eye One-Cent Increase in Alcohol Tax to Address Health Disparities

Maryland Matters

By Bruce DePuyt

January 8, 2021

EXCERPT:

“Johns Hopkins University and the JHU health system on Friday joined a legislative push to boost healthcare in under-served communities.

More than 250 other organizations are also supporting the creation of Health Equity Resource Communities, the top legislative priority of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative.

Under the measure, Senate Bill 172 and a companion House proposal, a one-cent increase in the state’s alcohol tax would establish grants for programs to provide health coverage, substance abuse treatment and mental health services. Local community groups, non-profit hospitals, universities and local governments would be eligible to receive the funds.

The initiative is based in part on the state’s former Health Enterprise Zones Program that ran from 2012 to 2016.

Backers believe the grants would help close race- and income-based gaps in health care access ― gaps that have been made worse by the pandemic.”

Read full article at https://www.marylandmatters.org/2021/01/08/lawmakers-eye-one-cent-increase-in-alcohol-tax-to-address-health-disparities/