Maryland State Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell speaks at rally praising the tax hike.
Every drink of alcohol in the state will cost ten cents more starting tomorrow.
Efforts to raise the tax routinely failed for many years in the general assembly, until this year.
Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell, one of the bill's sponsors, says the sour economy and lack of new revenue finally got lawmakers to act on the increase.
"It's time to try to tap into this revenue source that we have not tapped into for many decades," she says. "So that we can take care of the needs of those that are most vulnerable in our community."
Initially, the tax hike was supposed to fund mental health and drug addiction programs.
But for its first year, a sizable chunk of the money raised will go to school construction, primarily in Baltimore and Prince George's County, home to some of the most powerful lawmakers in the general assembly.