Chris Essig

Walkthroughs, tips and tricks from a data journalist in eastern Iowa

Controversial cigarette tax hike back on the table

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The American Lung Association and Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Maywood, held a news conference in the Capitol press room yesterday morning to announce they are renewing their efforts to pass a cigarette tax increase this legislative session. This proposal is nothing new; the same bill narrowly passed the Senate last April. But the measure was never voted on in House.

The ALA also released a scant review of Illinois’ tobacco laws. The state received a dismal “D” grade in cigarette taxing, which the association cited in its call for higher taxes. Apparently the higher the taxes, the better the rating. You don’t see that everywhere…

Anyways, I covered the news conference. Here is a quote:

SPRINGFIELD – On the same day the American Lung Association released a report on Illinois’ tobacco control laws, the association said it plans to renew an effort to pass a cigarette tax hike this year.

The association will be teaming up with state Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Maywood, to push an increase in the cigarette tax by $1. Currently, the state tax adds 98 cents to the cost of a pack of smokes.

Last year, a tax hike was approved in the state Senate but was not voted on in the House.

And the link.

This is my first “beat,” per say, or first issue to follow throughout the legislative session. If there is big news regarding this piece of legislation, I’ll be reporting on it…Hopefully things will get interesting.

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Written by csessig

January 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm

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