HARRISBURG, June 30, 2014 — State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams won overwhelming approval tonight on an amendment that would allow the City of Philadelphia to levy a $2-per-pack cigarette tax and raise $83 million in new annual revenue for the School District of Philadelphia.

“I am delighted that the children and parents of Philadelphia can begin to see that we are moving down the path of supporting them,” Sen. Williams said after the Senate voted 40-10 on his amendment to House Bill 1177.

“While we have a lot more work to do, I am appreciative of all parties that participated – Democratic and Republican members of the Senate – specifically, Sen. Shirley Kitchen, head of the Philadelphia delegation; Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa; Sen. Vincent Hughes, Democratic Appropriations Committee chairman; Sen. Dominic Pileggi, Republican Leader; and Sen. Joe Scarnatti, President Pro Tempore.”

Sen. Williams’ proposal for a $2 per pack cigarette tax would generate $45 million this year for the school district and $83 million during its first full year.

The School District of Philadelphia is facing a $66 million deficit.

HB 1177 must now return to the House for consideration.


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