WLBT, 12/10/8

It’s been years in the making but advocates believe 2009 will be the year state lawmakers pass a cigarette tax.

That’s the good news.

The bad news, there will still be plenty to debate on the issue hits the floor at the legislature.

“The issue is how much and what will happen to the money.”

The message to members representing the communities for a clean bill of health organization was loud and clear. There’s still plenty of work left. The tax study commission recommended a tax on cigarettes and just a few weeks ago Governor Haley Barbour said he would support that recommendation. But for this group and several lawmakers that’s not enough.

“What we’re really looking for is a long term solution of the funding of the Medicaid program,” said Rep. Dirk Dedeaux, (D) Perkinston.