Craig Ford

Senate committee approves cigarette tax

An Alabama Senate committee on Friday approved a cigarette tax and other revenue bills as legislators try to broker an agreement to minimize cuts to state services when the fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Legislators have 19 days to get a general fund budget in place or risk a shutdown of state government services. The first week of a special session on the budget brought progress, but not a solution, on how to handle a $200 million fiscal shortfall.

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved a 25-cent cigarette tax, the largest component of a House-passed revenue package; Medicaid provider taxes on pharmacies and nursing homes, and a transfer of $50...