The fate of a $2 tax on cigarettes in Philadelphia to fund public schools is in jeopardy.
The state Senate on Tuesday made changes to a bill that would allow Philadelphia to levy a $2 per pack cigarette tax to fund the public schools.
A Republican spokesperson told the Philadelphia Inquirer it would be difficult to get the votes for the amended version in the House, which passed the bill last week.
The bill passed by the Senate puts a five-year limit on the cigarette tax, CBS Philly reported.
The tax was expected to generate $80 million in its first year and avoid layoffs, according to the Inquirer.
Superintendent William R. Hite issued a statement saying Tuesday’s turn of events puts the schools in a state of uncertainty.
“With schools scheduled to open in less that two months, it is crucial that we secure the needed funding to support our students and schools. There is no clear timetable for House consideration on this amended bill, nor any guarantee of final passage. We implore the House and Senate to come to agreement immediately on cigarette tax legislation that does not include a sunset provision,” Hite said in a statement.
Governor Corbett supports the cigarette tax and last week urged the Senate to pass the bill after it went through in the House.
"We have worked for over a year, above the partisan politics, to put the students of Philadelphia first. I urge the Senate to concur on this much-needed relief for Philadelphia's schools,” Corbett said.