Sen. Kane Proposes Financial Incentive For Municipalities To Step Up Their Involvement In War On Drugs

February 19, 2009

Senator Rob Kane (R-32) is proposing legislation to give municipalities a share of the state’s marijuana and controlled substances tax revenues – if they report drug arrests in their towns and cities to the state Department of Revenue Services.

“We have had a marijuana and controlled substances tax on the books since 1991, but the towns have little incentive to utilize it. Under my proposal, municipalities would get 40 percent of the revenues collected by the state Department of Revenue Services as a result of referring their drug arrests,” said Senator Kane.

Senator Kane recently testified in favor of his proposal, SB 224 An Act Directing A Portion Of The Marijuana And Controlled Substances Tax To Municipalities, before the General Assembly’s Planning & Development Committee. A municipality that reports a local drug arrest would receive 40 percent of the drug tax revenues collected as a result of that specific referral to the state Department of Revenue Services.

Senator Kane said that providing municipalities a share of drug tax revenues would give them a financial incentive to step up their involvement in the war on drugs. In addition, he said that his legislation would provide the state with another way to financially help Connecticut’s towns and cities.

“Due to the current economic climate, cities and towns are being forced to make drastic cuts in their budgets – sometimes slashing funding which would go towards police, fire and other public safety services. Even Governor Rell has suggested cuts to the resident trooper program that some towns, especially in my district, rely upon. As legislators, I believe it is our responsibility to do everything we can to help the communities we represent offset their costs. Passing this bill would be a small, but effective, step towards fulfilling that obligation,” said Senator Kane.