by Max Brantley
The Fayetteville Trucker posed the very question that The Iconoclast poses in a blog post today.
Will the Republican-dominated NWA legislative delegation vote for the tobacco tax increase that will, among others, pay for a statewide trauma system and, at least indirectly, for the new money to open a satellite UAMS med school in NWA? (The Trucker recalls that one legislator, Cecile Bledsoe, once argued for a motorycle helmet bill in part on the ground of insufficient facilities for trauma injuries suffered by the unhelmeted.)
If a three-fourths vote is needed, Repubs could kill the 50-cent-a-pack cig tax -- and thus the trauma center, the med school, Medicaid matching money, etc.
The Arkansas cigarette tax -- 59 cents a pack -- ranked 38th in the most recent comparison I could find. I say up it 82 cents, not 50. If that rate is good enough for Texas ....