Opioid Tax Won’t Pass Kentucky Senate, Leader Says

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky Senate will reject a proposed first-in-the-nation tax on prescription opioids, with the chamber’s top Republican leader saying the idea has too many legal problems for it to be in the foundation of a two-year state spending plan.

The state’s House of Representatives approved the 25-cent-per-dose tax earlier this month, saying it would bring in about $140 million over the next two years. Lawmakers planned to use that money, plus revenue from an accompanying 50-cent hike in the cigarette tax, to pay for public education among other state services.

But Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said Friday the tax would not be included in the Senate’s version of the state budget, set to be released next week.