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AUSTIN EDITION CAPITOL NOTEBOOK Liquor tax increase proposed

A state senator on Thursday proposed raising taxes on liquor, wine and beer to pay for public safety initiatives, including more supervision of sex offenders and other released prisoners.

DFL Sen. Jane Ranum of Minneapolis, who heads the Senate Public Safety Budget Division, said her plan would cost drinkers about a penny per glass more and would raise $24 million. She wants to earmark the money for probation, drug treatment programs and crime victim services.

"There's a strong case that this is the ultimate user fee," Ranum said at a news conference. "Alcohol is tied to so much crime." Most criminals in the state's prisons have substance abuse problems, and the use of alcohol is involved in most crimes, she said.

Web site security will be reviewed

Gov. Tim Pawlenty ordered a review of state Web sites Thursday, after an audit earlier this week found multiple security gaps in a license tab renewal site.

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Administration Commissioner Dana Badgerow will oversee checks on all Web sites run by the state's executive branch, including portals run by the departments of health and human services, transportation, natural resources and public safety.

-- Associated Press

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