In order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities, this site has been designed with accessibility in mind. Click here to view

back to press releases

Senate Sends Tobacco Tax Proposal To Voters

Sen. Hobson calls HB 2660 the most important legislation since 1017.

Oklahoma Senators today gave final approval to Governor Henry’s Health Initiative sending a proposed tobacco tax increase to the vote of the people in November.

By a 39-8 vote, Senators approved House Bill 2660. It calls for a net 55-cent increase in the per pack tax on tobacco to fund a wide range of health programs, including an increase in the rates paid to Medicaid providers, health insurance premium assistance for approximately 100,000 uninsured Oklahomans, creation of a cancer research and treatment center and additional funding for the statewide trauma care network.

“Thanks to the leadership of our young governor and the courage of a majority of the members of the Legislature, this and future generations of Oklahomans will have a healthier future. Our state is one of the sickest in the nation, but that’s about to change. This vote – the most important vote in the Legislature since the passage of House Bill 1017 in 1990 – is the first step on the path to a healthier Oklahoma,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson.

Hobson also lauded the bi-partisan vote in favor of the issue.

“Both Democrats and Republicans made the health of our state a priority with their vote today. Neither side put party politics before the health of Oklahomans,” Hobson said.

Senator Ben Robinson, D-Muskogee, presented the bill on the Senate floor.

“With this vote today, Senators have saved lives. The people of Oklahoma will support this in November and as a result thousand of children in our state won’t become smokers and won’t die premature deaths related to smoking,” Robinson said.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved HB 2660 Thursday by a 66-33 vote.

Contact info
President Pro Tempore's Office - (405) 521-5605