Governor Signs Cigarette Tax Bill, Education Reform Bill

Nashville (WLVT) - It's official, the price you pay for cigarettes will go up on July 1st.

Governor Phil Bredesen signed the cigarette tax increase Thursday.

The increase, 42 cents. The money will go toward education.

Democrats had started a push to add three more cents to the tax. The money would have gone to fund projects for veterans, but late today they put that amendment on hold.

Earlier Thursday, the governor signed the Basic Education Program Reform Bill.

Knox County leaders say it's a fairer formula than the old one and means more money for schools.

Nashville (AP) -- A Tennessee lawmaker who proposed adding another three cents to the state cigarette tax Thursday put his bill on hold.

Representative David Shepard says he wants to consider other ways to raise money to benefit military veterans.

The proposed three-cent-per-pack increase would generate about $18 million dollars a year.

The legislature has voted to increase the cigarette tax by 42 cents per pack to bring in more revenue for education.

Shepard says he'll work with the House Education Committee to develop the best plan for veteran scholarships.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Nashville (WVLT) - A new 42 cent tax on cigarettes may be increasing before it even becomes law.

Tennessee democrats are speeding a proposal through the house that could tack an extra three cents in tax on a pack.

Democrats say the extra three cents would pay for veterans' homes and scholarships.

They say it could rasie as much as 18 million dollars a year.

It could go to a full vote this afternoon.

Governor Phil Bredesen has said he will sign the original 42 cent cigarette tax increase.

A spokesperson for Governor Bredesen says she has not been able to reach the governor to discuss the new increase.

We hope to hear from him tonight at 5:30.

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