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Published February 10, 2011, 02:55 PM

ND House Rejects Cigarette Tax Rise for UND Med School Funding

A proposal to raise North Dakota's cigarette tax to pay for an expansion of the University of North Dakota's medical school has failed in the state House.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A proposal to raise North Dakota's cigarette tax to pay for an expansion of the University of North Dakota's medical school has failed in the state House.

Lawmakers are debating whether to use money from a tobacco lawsuit settlement to pay for the medical school project. That option would reduce the amount of money spent on anti-smoking efforts.

During House debate on Thursday, Democrats proposed financing the medical school project by raising the state tax on a pack of cigarettes.

The tax would increase from 44 cents to 85 cents a pack. It would collect almost $35 million over two years.

Representatives defeated the proposal, 68-26. They kept alive the option of using tobacco settlement money for the project. The House Appropriations Committee will now review the plan.

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