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Ky House Leaders Work to Move Budget Forward

From Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeigh With only 18 days remaining in the 2008 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, its crunch time on the state budget. Governor Steve Beshear last week tried to convince House democrats to go along with a 70-cent increase in the state cigarette tax. That would move Kentuckys cigarette tax to one dollar per pack.But House Speaker Jody Richards says theres little support for the proposal in the Democratic caucus."We couldnt even get them to do 30-cents on the cigarette tax, so I would think that going to 70 would be a little excessive for some of them," said Richards.He says the Democrats will stick with their plan for a 25-cent increase in the cigarette tax. House budget chairman Harry Moberly wants to move the 18-billion dollar state budget out of his committee tomorrow so the spending plan can get a House floor vote on Wednesday.