Local News

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh 

A 25 cent increase in Kentucky’s cigarette tax may be on the horizon if a state revenue plan approved by the House budget committee makes it all the way through the 2008 General Assembly. 

The budget committee voted 20-9 Tuesday for a revenue plan that restructures state debt, includes a cigarette tax hike and taxes on some services to raise 400-million dollars per year over the next two years. Chairman Harry Moberly says the plan restores the 12 percent cut in higher education funding that was in the governor’s budget.

“If they don’t get their base restored,” Moberly said, “they’re going to be hard pressed to serve the students they’re serving now.”

The plan also directs 130-million dollars to health and human services over the next two years, gives teachers a pay raise and restores cuts to the attorney general’s office, local jails, commonwealth’s attorneys and county attorneys. The measure now moves to the full House

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."