Illinois House approves higher cigarette tax
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Without a single vote to spare, the Illinois House agreed Friday to double the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to help close a $2.7 billion budget hole in health care for the poor.
The measure passed 60-52, the bare minimum needed for approval. It goes to the state Senate, which has backed similar increases in the past. State Rep. Robert Pritchard, R-Hinckley, voted yes, and state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, voted no.
Supporters warn that without money from the tax increase, Illinois will be forced to make even deeper cuts to Medicaid services or take the money from other parts of the budget, such as education.
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