Friday, February 13, 2009

HB1204 PASSES! Tobacco Tax Increased in Arkansas

Today the Arkansas Advocacy Committee, the Step Up Coalition, and the
volunteers for the You're the Cure movement celebrate victory in
Arkansas. The members of the Arkansas Senate passed HB1204, which
raises the tobacco excise tax by 56 cents, by a vote of 28 to 7. On
February 4th the House passed the bill by a vote of 75-24. Now, the
Bill will be signed by Governor Mike Beebe, and will raise almost 86
million for the state of Arkansas. These funds will provide a state
wide trauma system for the state, funding for AED's in our public
schools, CPR training for public school staff, as well as numerous
other public health initiatives.
We on the Advocacy committee cannot thank the volunteers who came
together at press conferences, media events, on news programs and in
email and phone call campaigns. Your efforts prompted our law makers to
take action that will reduce the smoking rates among our youth, and save
countless lives in the state.
We have added some quick video clips which show the House Rules
Committee preparing to debate/vote on the measure, and an event
organized to garner public support for automated external defibrillators
and CPR training in public schools. Greg Brown of the Baptist Training
Center arranged this event and we collected over 100 signature in about
and hour and a half.



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