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(Baton Rouge – June 13, 2011) Calling Governor Bobby Jindal’s veto of a tobacco tax renewal irresponsible and indefensible, the Better Choices for a Better Louisiana Coalition today urged lawmakers to stand up to the governor and override the veto.
Saying that the governor’s decision places political ideology above the health of the people and the fiscal stability of the state, the coalition stressed reasons why House Bill 591 by Rep. Harold Ritchie (D-Bogalusa) should stand.
The four-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes has been on the books since 2000, and generates about $12 million a year, dedicated to providing health care services. The revenue is used to trigger even more money as matches for federal funds.
At just 36 cents per pack, Louisiana already has one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the nation; reducing it by four cents has economists and health care experts scratching their heads about the wisdom of Gov. Jindal’s veto.
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