Voters might have resuscitated the push for increased tobacco taxes when they rejected increased car tag fees this November. The car tag fees were on the ballot to fund a statewide trauma care network. Now business groups -- who campaigned for the trauma care measure -- are urging lawmakers to increase the tobacco tax in the upcoming legislative session
Republicans in the state House and Senate increased their majorities in both chambers Tuesday. The gains were modest -- three in the 180-member House and one in the 56-member Senate. The big change, however, has to do with freshmen. About 20% of both chambers will be new members.