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Pa. House approves cigarette tax to aid Philly schools

Philadelphia teachers are applauding the Pennsylvania legislature for passing the cigarette sales tax.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Philadelphia teachers are applauding the Pennsylvania legislature for passing the cigarette sales tax.

The state House of Representatives voted 119-80 on Wednesday night to send the bill back to the Senate, which approved a similar version earlier this week.

The $2 per pack tax would be funneled into the cash-strapped Philadelphia school district.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan issued a statement saying, "The educators, parents and citizens of Philadelphia should be proud of how our legislators have advocated for our city's children."

Philadelphia officials say without the money, schools would not be fit to open in the fall.

House Republican leaders had tried to block the bill, unless Philadelphia Democrats signed on to legislation to pare back future public employee pension benefits.

Democrats opposed the pension bill.

A Pennsylvania Senate vote on the cigarette tax could come next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
politics philadelphia philly news pa. news taxes cigarettes pennsylvania politics politics
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