FRANKFORT, Ky. — Acknowledging that his casino gambling proposal faces long odds, Gov. Steve Beshear has switched course and proposed a cigarette tax increase that would take in $800 million over two years.
But it was unclear whether the legislature would agree to raise the state's 30-cents-a-pack cigarette tax to $1 a pack. Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said he was surprised by Beshear's proposal. "I don't think we can pass a 70-cent cigarette tax increase," said Rep. Don Pasley, D-Winchester.
Beshear said he still hopes lawmakers will approve his proposed constitutional amendment allowing casinos, which the governor said would generate $500 million over two years. But he conceded that "no one can guarantee the outcome of that effort."
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