Tobacco Tax Initiative for UC/CSU Student Aid Advances

As prior posts have noted, an initiative was filed featuring a tobacco tax to be used mainly for student aid at UC and CSU.  Unlike many initiatives that are filed, there seems to be serious money behind it since it is being handled by a professional law firm that deals with electoral matters. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has now come up with an analysis of the initiative, a step towards petition circulation.

According to the LAO, about $730 million, net, would be raised by this initiative annually.

Once the initiative is approved for circulation, we will see whether someone is willing to step forward with the money to hire a commercial firm to obtain the necessary signatures.  Such an initiative – if it made it on to the 2014 ballot – would be opposed by tobacco companies and a large budget for TV ads, etc., would be needed to counter their campaign.  The last tobacco tax on the ballot – earmarked for cancer research – was defeated.

You can read the LAO’s report at:
http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2012/120658.aspx

Meanwhile, be happy…