A coalition of health groups including the California Medical Assn. has collected more than enough signatures to qualify an initiative for the Nov. 8 ballot that would raise the tobacco tax in California by $2 a pack, the group said Friday.
The Save Lives California Coalition plans to begin turning the signatures in to county elections officials on Monday.
California has one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the country, 87 cents per pack, far behind New York, where the tax is $4.35 a pack. California’s tobacco tax has not been increased since 1998.
"We just heard the governor tell us that tax revenue growth in the state of California is slowing, and yet Democrats here in Sacramento continue to commit the state to higher and higher levels of state government spending," Obernolte said.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday vetoed a bill that would have expanded the disclosure of lobbying activities to include those who seek to influence state officials on government procurement decisions. He said it is not necessary.
Lobbyists currently have to disclose the money they receive and the source of the payments used to try to influence state officials on policy matters.
Assemblyman Richard S. Gordon (D-Menlo Park) introduced AB 1200 to shed light on behind-the-scenes work of hired consultants interested in the awarding of $11 billion in procurement contracts by the state each year.