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House and Senate pass cigarette tax extension

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Posted: Jun 23, 2011 6:43 PM
Updated: Jun 23, 2011 6:55 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: baton rouge, house, senate, cigarette tax, ballot, initiative, amendment, wbrz, louisiana

BATON ROUGE - The House and Senate have agreed to renew a 4-cent cigarette tax, but it requires voter approval through a ballot initiative in the fall.

In a last-minute compromise, Gov. Bobby Jindal and lawmakers this week agreed to allow the tax extension to go forward via a constitutional amendment to fund college scholarships.

The tax is set to expire in 2012, and Jindal had earlier opposed the measure as a new tax and vetoed it.

But the debate was revived when Bogalusa Rep. Harold Ritchie succeeded in attaching the tax extension to a Jindal administration bill to fund the state's free college tuition program with tobacco settlement money. Jindal risked losing the bill if he didn't agree to the tax add-on.

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