AL LEGISLATURE APPROVES CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Legislature has approved a cigarette tax increase as lawmakers near a budget agreement.
Senators voted 21-13 Tuesday for the 25-cent-per-pack increase. The approval came after two hours of debate and criticism from some Republicans.
The House voted 52-42 to go along with Senate changes to the bill.
The vote came the same day a conference committee struck a compromise to transfer money from the education budget.
Gov. Robert Bentley praised lawmakers’ progress in reaching a budget agreement.
Lawmakers are meeting in special session to address a $200 million shortfall in the general fund. Legislators must approve a budget by Oct. 1 or state agencies will be without money to operate.
The special session could conclude Wednesday.