Beshear, Democrats Discuss Competing Proposals To Raise Revenue

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh 

Kentucky House Democrats plan to move forward with their own state revenue plan, which includes a smaller cigarette tax increase than the one now being sought by Governor Steve Beshear.

Beshear met privately for an hour with the House Democratic Caucus Friday to discuss his plan to raise the cigarette tax by 70 cents.  Beshear says he gota good reception.

“I made my proposal and they made their proposal and we’ll see where we go from there,” Beshear said.

An unimpressed House Budget Committee Chairman Harry Moberly says the Democrats will stick with their own revenue proposal, which includes a 25 cent increase in the cigarette tax.

“The governor’s proposal is not only irresponsible in its bonding, but it has no chance. It had about nine votes in our caucus today,” said Moberly.

House leaders want to get the state budget out of committee on Monday, so a floor vote can be taken on Tuesday. Only 18 days remain in the 2008 session.