Principal Investigator: Jim Mosher
Sponsor: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
(6/1/2004 - 12/31/2004) Proposal Abstract
This project is designed to increase the impact of research findings on legislative action regarding alcohol tax policy and related revenue measures. The project is an urgent priority because of exigencies in the political climate that temporarily increase the potential for research findings to influence alcohol tax policy making. Specifically, the enormity of budget deficits in most states is forcing legislatures to consider increasing taxes and reducing restrictions on alcohol sales. As legislatures debate these issues, they are being influenced by information about the effects of tax increases and increased sales. Unless the independent research community can provide that information effectively, it will come exclusively from the alcohol industry.
A number of national organizations (e.g., CSPI, AMA, Join Together) and state-level organizations (e.g., Texans Standing Tall, Louisiana Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking) are eager to use research findings in their efforts to influence the policy-making process. To be most effective, they need an assessment of the potential impact in each state for research findings to influence alcohol policy in the next few years. They also need information relevant to the efficacious introduction of research. We propose to obtain this information by conducting interviews with key informants at several national organizations that have state-level affiliates working on alcohol policy issues. We would also collect data from their files and request completion of state rating forms. We would then follow up as needed by interviewing key individuals in the states.
The result will be a report that provides a roadmap for focusing efforts to inject research into the alcohol tax policy process. Each of the organizations listed above and others have expressed strong interest in using these results. These organizations will also benefit from the collaborative exercise this project entails.