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Lawmakers Balance Budget With Cigarettes

Lawmakers Balance Budget With Cigarettes
Friday, March 5, 2010 - 7:53am

Sante Fe, NM - The Legislature has finished a special session after approving a cigarette tax increase to help balance the budget.

The measure was the final part of a budget-balancing plan that will provide more than $230 million from tax increases.

The cigarette tax will go up 75 cents a pack for four years. It will raise $33 million next year. A third of the money is earmarked for pre-kindergarten and other early childhood programs for one year.

The Senate approved the tax on a 25-to-15 vote on Thursday, and the House agreed to changes made by senators. A House-approved version of the bill would have dedicated part of the money to public schools.

The Legislature's special session lasted four days.

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