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Cigarette tax bill moves forward

The Senate has just concurred unanimously in the conference committee’s recommendations on the cigarette tax, with no debate. But in the House, a unanimous consent request drew objections, so that was followed by a motion and some debate. Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, who cast the only vote in the conference committee against its final compromise recommendations, gave a long rundown of his criticisms of the changes – but then urged House members to support the conference report. That means everyone will get to vote on the amended bill, he said. The House then concurred on a 55-12 vote. Then, the Senate quickly went into its amending order, the 14th order, and formally re-amended the bill to match the conference report.

The next step is a final vote in the Senate, and then the House. But senators just paused, as they were informed that the pope has died.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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