Supporters of an initiative petition to raise the state tobacco tax say they remain optimistic the proposal will be on the November ballot, despite a ruling today by the Secretary of State that it fell short of the signatures needed. Michael Kelley with The Committee for a Healthy Future says the committee is disappointed with the ruling that it fell 274 signatures short in the 5th Congressional District of Kansas City. Kelley says the group will challenge the Secretary of State’s ruling, asking officials in the office to go over the signatures again. He says if that fails, the group isn’t hesitant about taking the matter to court. If approved, the tax would rise four cents per cigarette and 20% on other tobacco products. A fraction of the money would fund smoking prevention and cessation programs. The remainder would go to restore Medicaid cuts and pay for other health care programs for the poor.
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