Alcohol, Drug Treatment Advocates Descend on Springfield Urging Lawmakers to Back 5¢ a Drink Tax, Reverse Quinn Addiction Healthcare Cuts

(Springfield, IL) – More than 100 Illinois drug and alcohol treatment and prevention advocates fanned out across the capitol on April 29 during IADDA’s Lobby Day to urge state lawmakers to increase the state’s alcohol tax by 5¢ a drink.

This move would raise $250 million for cash-strapped Illinois and restore $12.9 million cut from addiction healthcare services in Governor Pat Quinn‘s proposed FY 2010 budget.

“A nickel a drink increase will raise $250 million to help offset the budget deficit and restore budget cuts to addiction healthcare services,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA). And legislators got the message loud and clear.”

“We recognize Illinois faces tough economic problems, but in these times more people turn to drugs and alcohol and treatment must be available.”

“We are urging Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno to raise revenue and to restore cuts made to treatment services by passing a nickel-a-drink alcohol tax increase,” said Howe.

Howe noted that alcohol and drug treatment advocates will keep the pressure on lawmakers by calling and writing their local senators and representatives.

“We’re not going to let up,” said Howe.

Lawmakers are in the final stretch of the General Assembly’s spring legislation which is scheduled to adjourn on May 31.

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