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AARP SC Applauds General Assembly Override on Cigarette Tax Increase

In what AARP South Carolina calls the win of the decade, a tax increase on cigarettes in South Carolina is now law. South Carolina’s lowest in the nation tax on cigarettes will now increase 50 cents to 57 cents per pack July 1, 2010.

AARP South Carolina applauds the bipartisan work and leadership from members of the House and Senate to pass this bill. The House vote to override was 90-29 and in the Senate the vote was 33-13 to override the Governor’s veto. Revenue from this increase, estimated at $135 million in the first year, $125 million will be used to fund Medicaid and other long-term care services in the state. The state has lost out on an estimated $3.5 billion dollars in federal match dollars over the past ten years.

Over the years there have been numerous legislators who have worked tirelessly to set the stage for this win including former Representatives Marion Carnell and Donny Wilder who put up an amendment to the 2002 budget. The late Senator J. Verne Smith early on embraced raising the cigarette tax as a way to pay for health care. Republican House members Rex Rice and Chip Limehouse also worked to push to raise the cigarette tax.

In recent years, no one has worked harder to pass the cigarette tax than Senator Thomas Alexander, who took up Senator Smith’s mantle as Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Subcommittee and as champion of raising the cigarette tax.

The House overwhelmingly overrode the veto 90-29. The Yeas were:   Senate 33-13 (31 votes needed) the Yeas were:
Agnew
Alexander
Allen
Anderson
Anthony
Bales
Ballentine
Bannister
Bingham
Bowers
Brady
Branham
Brantley
G. A. Brown
H. B. Brown
R. L. Brown
Chalk
Clemmons
Clyburn
Cobb-Hunter
Cole
Crawford
Daning
Delleney
Dillard
Erickson
Forrester
Frye
Funderburk
Gilliard
Govan
Gunn
Harrell
Harrison
Hart
Harvin
Hayes
Hearn
Herbkersman
Hiott
Hodges
Horne
Hosey
Howard
Huggins
Hutto
Jefferson
Jennings
Kelly
King
Knight
Limehouse
Littlejohn
Long
Lucas
Mack
McEachern
McLeod
Merrill
Miller
Mitchell
V. S. Moss
J. H. Neal
J. M. Neal
Neilson
Ott
Owens
Parks
Pinson
Rice
Rutherford
Sellers
Skelton
D. C. Smith
G. M. Smith
J. E. Smith
J. R. Smith
Sottile
Spires
Stavrinakis
Umphlett
Vick
Weeks
Whipper
Whitmire
Williams
Willis
Wylie
A. D. Young
T. R. Young
  Alexander
Anderson
Campbell
Campsen
Cleary
Coleman
Cromer
Elliott
Fair
Ford
Hayes
Hutto
Jackson
Land
Leatherman
Leventis
Lourie
Malloy
Martin, Larry
Massey
Matthews
McConnell
McGill
Nicholson
O'Dell
Pinckney
Rankin
Reese
Rose
Scott
Setzler
Sheheen
Williams
     

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