BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is looking for ways to keep paying for the state’s substance abuse treatment programs after voters decided to repeal the sales tax on alcohol, which has supported the initiatives.

“These are enormously important programs, as you know,” Patrick told WBZ News Radio’s Lana Jones. “And the sad fact is that substance abuse tends to go up in a recession, so the need for the programs is even greater in these times, so I’m committing to finding a solution, I just don’t have a solution yet.”

Patrick all but rejected one idea floated by substance abuse advocates, who have suggested delaying the start of the sales tax cut from January until the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Patrick told reporters that Beacon Hill leaders want to respect the will of voters.

Patrick refused to reject a second idea to increase the alcohol excise tax, which hasn’t been changed in decades. Patrick said the idea isn’t being actively discussed, however.

The excise tax on a gallon of beer in Massachusetts is 11 cents compared 30 cents in New Hampshire.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (7)
  1. peaksis says:

    try allowing state employees with substance abuse experience to work in that area

  2. Cynic says:

    First…Stop sending Lincoln Town Cars to drive them around.

  3. Dave65 says:

    If the state cannot afford to maintain the freebies then people have to do what the rest of us do, make do within our means. All of these entitlements should come with a short expiration date.

  4. She says:

    He wants to respect the will of the voters? How about when we voted to scale back the income tax and that was permanently deferred.

  5. The Rose says:

    People inflict these addictions on themselves, and the taxpayers money has to fund a program to help? I’m so sick of entitlement programs. No one forced these folks to become drug addicts. Let them form groups like AA.

    1. shotime says:

      The Rose… Are you kidding, or really just that clueless???

  6. anonymous says:

    To Whom it may Concern:
    I don’t believe every individual the same & think they should legalize every Immigrant. It should be a case by case evaluation to be more selective of what this US is doing. They had let too many Foreiners get away with a lot which is hurting the Americans here who do need help. You should try going to their Country & see what you can receive & get away with! Absolutely nothing & they will kill you. They are all working under the Table, getting free care, Food Stamps, purchasing homes w/ much limited fees than an American & so on. They don’t need a SS# to apply for free care

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