The Clarion-Ledger, 3/17/8

If a bill that would hike the cigarette tax dies in a Senate committee this week, many believe a special session could be called to deal with a $90 million shortfall Medicaid is facing.

House Bill 1013 is the only piece of surviving legislation that would allow lawmakers to either raise the tobacco tax or impose a hospital tax to help Medicaid, the subsidized health care program that serves more than 560,000 Mississippians.

Leaders in the House say it’s time for their counterparts in the Senate to say where they stand on the issue.