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Johanns Asks For Cigarette Tax Hike, School Aid Cut  

Jump to full article: Associated Press (AP), 2002-03-01
Author: SCOTT BAUER / Associated Press Writer

Intro:

The governor's budget-reduction plan would raise cigarette taxes by 50 cents per pack, cut school aid and trim funding to most state agencies by 3 percent.

All are ideas that drew immediate fire Thursday from critics, who predicted Gov. Mike Johanns' proposal would lead to job losses for state employees and teachers across the state. . .

Increasing the cigarette tax from 34 cents per pack to 84 cents would generate about $50 million a year. Under the bill (LB1149), the money is targeted for health-related costs.

Johanns uses about $43 million for general use.

Removing the earmarks for health issues could weaken its support among some who want to ensure the money benefits health needs.

A lobbyist for cigarette maker Philip Morris said he was surprised the governor relied on cigarette taxes for such a large portion of his proposal. [This graph only]

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