The South Carolina House has overridden Gov. Mark Sanford's veto of a 50 cent increase in the nation's lowest cigarette tax.
The House voted 90-29 to reject the veto Wednesday, a day after the Republican governor rejected the bill to raise the 7 cents per pack tax.
The chamber erupted in applause after the vote. A two-thirds majority vote is also required in the Senate before the increase becomes law. It's unclear when the Senate will vote.
Sanford opposes raising the cigarette tax unless some other tax is decreased.
Legislators want to use nearly $125 million from the higher tax to cover the loss of federal bailout cash next year in Medicaid programs for the elderly, disabled and poor. The measure also would generate $5 million each for cancer research and efforts to curb smoking.
Gov. Sanford snuffs out cigarette tax - Yesterday at 7:19 PM The cigarette tax legislation would have raised more than a billion dollars during the next decade.
Legislators approve cigarette tax increase - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 South Carolina senators have approved raising the nation's lowest cigarette tax by 50 cents a pack.Senate begins debate on $5 billion state budget - Tuesday, April 27, 2010South Carolina senators are beginning debate on a $5 billion state spending plan that relies on fee increases to keep police on the beat and the state's courts operating. House approves 50-cent cigarette tax increase - Wednesday, April 21, 2010 The South Carolina House has agreed to a 50-cent increase in cigarette taxes for the second time in two years.