Alabama Senate committee approves cigarette tax on Day 4 of special session

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP)  A Senate committee has approved a House-passed cigarette tax and other revenue bills as lawmakers press forward in trying to close a budget shortfall.

The Senate Finance and Taxation Committee on Friday approved the 25-cent cigarette tax after postponing a vote earlier in the day.

The committee also approved Medicaid provider taxes on pharmacies and nursing homes.

Committee Chairman Arthur Orr said negotiations are continuing and he did not know when the bills would be up for a Senate vote.

Alabama lawmakers are in a special session on the state’s general fund budget which faces a $200 million shortfall.

Lawmakers must pass a budget by Oct. 1 or state agencies will be without money to operate.