SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois Senate committee has voted to raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack and use the money for construction projects around the state.
Senators split along party lines Wednesday, with nine Democrats supporting the increase and six Republicans opposing it. The measure now goes to the full Senate.
Democrats say the cigarette tax could replace other sources of construction money that are tied up in a legal dispute. They also say it would cut state health costs by discouraging smoking.
Republicans argue the increase would disproportionately fall on the poor.
The $1 increase would more than double the current cigarette tax. It would be phased in over two years.
The bill is SB21.
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