Richards, Others React

Frankfort, KY – Legislative leaders are reacting to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's budget-balancing plan, which includes a 70-cent increase in the state's cigarette tax. Speaker Jody Richards says the House, which passed a 25-cent cigarette tax hike this year only to see it fail in the Senate, is on record as supporting new revenue for the state.

We provided strong leadership by passing a cigarette tax to fund education, human services and other essential state government services in the last session.

Richards would not say how he, personally, stands on a 70-cent increase. Reaction to the governor's plan from Senate President David Williams was subdued. Williams issued a statement saying Senate Republicans look forward to seeing the plan in detail, as "we continue our commitment to working together whenever possible for the benefit of all Kentuckians."