Fifty Cent Cigarette Tax Increase Rejected
Louisiana House members have rejected a proposed 50-cent increase in cigarette taxes.

The measure needed 70 votes, or two-thirds of the House, for passage. But Rep. Karen Carter Peterson won just 45 votes, with 55 voting against the New Orleans Democrat's bill.

Peterson's bill would raise Louisiana's cigarette tax from 36 cents to 86 cents per pack, with similar increases for cigars and chewing tobacco. The higher tax would produce an estimated $92 million in the next fiscal year, which would be dedicated for health care programs.