Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Leaks from the legislature



Cigarette tax goes up Buying cigarettes in South Carolina just got a little more expensive. For the first time in more than 30 years, the state tax on a pack of cigarettes is going up. Instead of the usual seven cents per pack, it’s now up to 57 cents. Before, South Carolina held the title of the nation’s lowest cigarette tax for 33 years.

The increase, which was vetoed by Gov. Mark Sanford and overridden by the General Assembly, will help fund health care for people who can least afford it, cancer research and smoking cessation programs. Previous efforts to raise the cigarette tax had been met with failure by legislators who said it would unfairly target convenience store owners and those who are against tax increases of any type.

Smokers may have noticed prices going up in the past year, already. On April 1, 2009, the federal government implemented a new 62 cent increase bringing the average price of a name brand pack of cigarettes up to

4.71 from $4.09. With the new state increase, the average price tops $5 for the first time.

Law allows wild hog hunting

Fans of University of Arkansas sports teams are used to yelling, “Woo pig! Sooie!” It’s a custom known as

calling the hogs.” South Carolinians can now call the hogs, albeit at night and with the loud crack of a firearm.

new bill signed into law allows state residents to hunt wild hogs at night, and puts more restrictions on letting the swine run free.

In South Carolina, and many other states, domestic pigs have been known to escape and get into the wilderness. Once there, they turn feral developing tusks and wiry hair and becoming very aggressive. These feral hogs are known to cause extensive damage to crops and can spread disease.

Bill passed addressing coyotes

Another bill passed addresses coyotes. Like feral hogs, coyotes are becoming a dangerous pest to livestock, killing and eating smaller and slower animals. Additionally, as people move further and further out into rural areas, family pets have been known to fall victim to coyote attacks. Senate returns to consider vetoes

Tuesday, the Senate returned to finish up considering the vetoes by Sanford that were overridden by the House. During the previous extended few days—June 15–17—the Senate overrode every veto possible, maintaining funding for things like county libraries, S.C. Educational Television, and the S.C. Arts Commission.

Wolfe is the proprietor of and

has written for 11 publications in five states.

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