SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Senate approved earlier this week a plan to raise the state€™s cigarette taxes by $1 a pack, the Chicago Tribune reports. The bill now goes to Governor Pat Quinn, who has come out in support of the increase, for passage.
The Senate approved the bill 31-27, largely along party lines. Democrats argued that the increase would help reduce a deficit in the state€™s Medicaid budget while preventing smoking. Republicans have objected to any tax increase.
The tax is projected to generate $350 million in revenue, which would then be matched by the federal government.
The bill also increases the state taxes on other tobacco products.