Koster endorses new tuition aid plan, cigarette tax hike
HANNIBAL (AP) - Attorney General Chris Koster is calling for Missouri to increase the state's cigarette tax and use the money for college scholarships.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Koster presented the idea Saturday in Hannibal during the annual Democrat Days. The proposal from the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic gubernatorial nomination would piggyback on Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel's proposal. Called "Missouri Promise," Zweifel wants the state to pay tuition and fees at a Missouri college for students who earn a 3.0 grade point average in high school and perform community service.
Missouri's current state cigarette tax is currently the lowest in the nation at 17 cents a pack. Koster suggested that the tax should be closer to the middle of the scale nationally, which is around 90 cents a pack.