Tobacco Tax bill filed
Baton Rouge, La — Baton Rouge, LA (NBC33)-- Advocates and lawmakers gathered on the steps of the State Capitol to show support for a bill that would increase the tobacco tax by 70 cents. If passed the new tax could generate more than 170 million dollars in new revenue. The bill's author Representative Harold Ritchie says "the budget deficit is 1.6 billion - it's not enough to cover that hole, but it's so much more important as far as the health care outcomes in Louisiana. Adults will quit smoking and young folks will never start." Teen support Leslie Gautier says it's not just about the money, "if we raise the price just a little bit higher, it would help. It would help a lot. It would help us because it's saving many and more more lives." The bill doesn't have a name yet, but lawmakers will vote on it in the regular legislative session. The regular session begins at the end of April.