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WV House working for 51 votes for tobacco tax hike

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Christian Tyler Randolph  House Speaker Tim Armstead speaks during Day 15 of the ongoing special legislative session Sunday. Party leaders on both sides of the aisle continued to scramble to secure the needed 51 votes in the House to pass the governor’s compromise tobacco tax plan, which includes a 65-cent a pack increase on cigarettes. The vote would clear the way for passage of the 2016-17 state budget.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Christian Tyler Randolph
House Speaker Tim Armstead speaks during Day 15 of the ongoing special legislative session Sunday. Party leaders on both sides of the aisle continued to scramble to secure the needed 51 votes in the House to pass the governor’s compromise tobacco tax plan, which includes a 65-cent a pack increase on cigarettes. The vote would clear the way for passage of the 2016-17 state budget.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Day 15 of the ongoing special session was marked with brief floor sessions in the House of Delegates and Senate Sunday, as the leadership of both parties continued to scramble to secure the needed 51 votes in the House to pass the governor’s compromise tobacco tax plan, which includes a 65-cent-per-pack increase on cigarettes, a vote that would clear the way for passage of the 2016-17 state budget.

House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, said not as many House Republicans will support the higher cigarette tax proposal (SB 1012) as voted for the 45-cent-per-pack increase on May 24.

“We will not deliver the same number or level of votes at 65 [cents] as we did at 45,” Cowles said, adding, “We need bipartisan cooperation…

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