The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 8/15/8

Things are so polarized at the Capitol these days that it would be hard to get agreement on whether the sun comes up in the east. Lawmakers can disagree when they agree.

So, after years of fighting over raising the cigarette tax, the argument now appears to be not if, but when.

The Legislature has approved cigarette tax hikes in years past only to have them vetoed by Gov. Haley Barbour. Senate Republicans sustained the veto.

The recent Medicaid funding debate again brought up the issue as House Speaker Billy McCoy and House Democrats proposed a tobacco tax to help fill a deficit in the program. That was opposed again by Barbour and blocked in the Senate by Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.