April 7, 2003
Posted at: 11:05 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Supporters of a 30 percent tobacco tax increase to cure the state's budget problems cleared an important hurdle Monday. Attorney General Mike Beebe issued an opinion that says the measure requires only a simple majority vote to pass the Legislature.
Some opponents had questioned whether the additional levy received sufficient votes to clear the Senate last week. They had suggested that the measure needed a 75 percent majority in both the House and Senate.
The measure still faces rough going in the House. Some House members would rather tap state trust funds for one-time money to cover a 200 (m) million dollar budget shortfall rather than raisetaxes.