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Tie vote likely kills plan to hike cigarette tax

SHARE Tie vote likely kills plan to hike cigarette tax

A bill that would have added 10 cents state tax on a pack of cigarettes has died.

Citing poor financial timing and an unwillingness to tie one source of revenue to a completely unrelated source of spending, the Senate Health and Environment Committee cast a tie vote Tuesday on SB58, which means the bill likely won't be considered again this session.

The bill proposed designating the revenue for the poor.

The state Department of Health would have been directed under the bill to establish the Working Parent's Health Care Assistance Plan that would provide benefits to people age 19 and older who live below the federal poverty level.

The bill would have been one of the few new revenue-generating measures before the Legislature this year. But committee members said they were more interested in finding ways to reinstate budgets of programs that were cut before considering new programs.

In other action, the committee approved a bill that would protect the privacy and prohibit discrimination of a person's DNA. HB56 specifies what is allowable for insurance companies and employers to know about the results of a DNA test and whether it indicates a risk for disease.