Grocery-cigarette tax bill dies in state Senate

n JACKSON - Despite rallies at the Capitol by a coalition of health care groups, the proposal to cut the grocery tax and increase the cigarette tax died Tuesday.

Tuesday was the legislative deadline for the proposal to be passed on the Senate floor. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Robertson, R-Moss Point, chose to kill the legislation by not allowing it to be considered in his committee.

Supporters of the tax-swap plan held one last rally Tuesday morning, but at this point it would take some unusual parliamentary maneuvers to pass the proposal.

Robertson admitted that before the session began he met with Gov. Haley Barbour on the issue. Barbour vetoed the proposal twice last year.

"I have not promised anything to the governor," Robertson said. "I met with the governor before the session. He asked that if it came to my committee would I consider not bringing it up."

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