One Grand Junction legislator is telling his fellow lawmakers to keep their hands off the recently enacted tobacco tax. The tax of up to 80 cents per pack of cigarettes is intended to bolster the state's health care,smoking education and cessation efforts. Some lawmakers are already talking about using the state's powers to declare a fiscal emergency and raid the voter–initiated measure to shore up the state's budget. Grand Junction representative Bernie Buescher says that's a bad idea. Buescher is a member of the Joint Budget Committee that deals with state funding and income. He says there are other ways to balance the budget without digging in to a fund voters approved for a specific purpose. Even if there is emergency language in the bill to allow for those monies to be used for general funds.
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