SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers have approved raising cigarette taxes by $1 a pack. It now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who supports the increase.
The state Senate approved the legislation 31-27 Tuesday in a vote that largely followed party lines.
Democrats argue the increase will help close a hole in the state Medicaid budget and also help prevent smoking. Republicans object to any tax increase.
Officials face a $2.7 million budget problem for Medicaid. They've already approved spending cuts of roughly $1.6 billion.
The tax is supposed to generate about $350 million. That would then be matched by the federal government to yield about $700 million.
Other tobacco products would see state taxes rise, too.
The bill is SB2194.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)