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New Booze Tax Proposed

State Senator Gloria Romero is calling for a five-cent tax to be added to alcoholic beverages and used to reimburse emergency centers for treating patients injured in alcohol-related accidents or violence. The Los Angeles Democrat announced her bill that would levy the fine this afternoon.

Romero estimates the $500 million the measure would raise annually would help compensate for cuts the state´s health care system is facing as a result of a budget deficit.

Alcoholic beverage industry officials say most drinkers behave responsibly and it´s unfair to single out an industry they believe is already overtaxed.