Thursday, June 16, 2011

Flip-floppers in House doom tobacco tax veto override

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36, King James Version).

Eleven members of the House of Representatives who once voted to extend a four-cent tax on cigarettes flipped under heavy pressure from Gov. Bobby Jindal, and voted Thursday to sustain his veto of HB 591.

The tax, which brings in $12 million a year for health care needs, is matched by federal health care funds, bringing the total benefit of the tax up to $48 million.

Members who changed their votes after hearing from the governor were Robert Billiot, D-Westwego; Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge; Bubba Chaney, R-Rayville; Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro; Hunter Greene, R-Baton Rouge; Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe; Kay Katz, R-Monroe; Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette; Tom McVea, R-Jackson; Joel Robideaux, Independent-Lafayette; and Tom Wilmott, R-Kenner.

Times-Picayune reporter Bill Barrow's coverage of the vote is here.

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