Lawmaker calls for new Oregon tax for mental health - KPTV - FOX 12

Lawmaker calls for new Oregon tax for mental health

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SALEM, OR (AP) -

A key Oregon lawmaker is calling for a new tax to pay for what he calls a "game changing" investment in mental health treatment.

Senate President Peter Courtney said Wednesday that mental health consistently loses out in the fight for budget dollars, leaving thousands of people untreated.  He's proposing a dedicated tax or fee to raise $331 million in each two-year budget period.

Courtney says he was spurred to action by the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. He says he's tired of hearing politicians, activists and the media talk about improving mental health without any serious effort to do it.

Courtney says the details, including the funding source, still need to be worked out, but he says a tax on beer and wine could be a component.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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