Vital Mn House debate on cigarette tax rages

The Minnesota House just passed the tax bill by a vote of 123-6. But that wasn't the key hurdle to ensuring that the government shutdown won't be renewed at midnight tonight. Governor Pawlenty's cigarette "fee," the subject of conservative ire, is actually contained in the health and human services bill, which is currently being debated. In fact, at about 3:15, Rep. Krinkie introduced an amendment to strip the cigarette fee from the bill. Those interested in following this vital debate online, go here.

Update: The Krinkie amendment was defeated 51-76. It is thus nearly certain that all the bills will pass this evening and the 2005 session will at last be completed.

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