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House overrides cig tax veto, 90 to 29

May 12, 2010 3:42:00 PM - thestate.com
UPDATED: 1:00 p.m.

House lawmakers voted Wednesday to override Gov. Mark Sanford's veto and thereby increase the state's cigarette tax to 57 cents from its current 7 cents level.

The vote was 90 to 29.

Now, all eyes are on the Senate to see if they too can muster the two-thirds majority vote needed to override Sanford's veto and make the tax increase law. The Senate is expected to take up the measure in coming days.

Proceeds are projected to provide about $125 million annually for state-run health care programs for the poor, $5 million for cancer research at the Medical University of South Carolina and $5 million for anti-smoking programs to help smokers stop and prevent young people from starting.