The more I think of how the tobacco tax bill went the more I think we lost.
It comes out or it does not, that is all that matters. The bill came out of the committee. It will be changed back to its original form in the next committee. The votes were there to kill it originally when the committee started but after it was amended some who may have been on the fence or signed a no new taxes proposal were given an out.
The 20 cent or 40 cent increase is important also because in the next committee if it starts at 20 cents the committee can put on another 20 cent tax "For the schools" and they did not vote to increase the taxes on food. If the bill was 40 cents when it comes in to the committee then to put another 20 cents on "for the schools" they have to first cut the tax break for food (in political terms, a tax increase on food). I think a 20/20 deal may be pushed as the "compromise plan" the ability to dedicate the money and separate the education budget could also be bargaining chips.
The senate will have a big say if that is how it goes and could be considered a litmus test for some to see if they are willing to stand up to the Governor and a tax increase when we have a huge surplus.