Krueger-Braneky legislation to boost PA revenue, maximize collections from tobacco settlement agreement becomes law

HARRISBURG, Dec. 28 -- The governor has signed into law legislation by state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky that will aid in the collection of additional revenue for Pennsylvania, the freshman Delaware County legislator said today.

Krueger-Braneky's bipartisan legislation will allow Pennsylvania to begin taxing tobacco used to make roll-your-own cigarettes.

Currently, only pre-rolled and pre-packaged cigarettes are taxed under Pennsylvania law. The law (Act 96 of 2015) authored by Krueger-Braneky makes roll-your-own tobacco subject to taxation in much the same way as cigarettes are and ensures the sale of that tobacco counts under the Master Settlement Agreement entered into 15 years ago with the major tobacco companies.

Under the Master Settlement Agreement, tobacco companies have provided billions of dollars to the state for a variety of health-related programs for seniors and other Pennsylvania residents.

"I am proud to pass my first bill as a legislator with bipartisan support,” Krueger-Braneky said. “At a time when Pennsylvania is facing a structural deficit, it’s important that big tobacco companies pay the taxes they owe to our community. Once in effect, this new law will bring in an estimated $6 million in additional, vital revenue to the state. Just as importantly, the change will enhance Pennsylvania's compliance under the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies, increasing the likelihood we will receive the full amount of future payments under the agreement.

"These payments help to fund many health-related programs, including anti-smoking and cessation efforts, in Pennsylvania. Considering rising health care costs, this is an important benefit for the state."

Krueger-Braneky’s legislation was passed fewer than four months after she began serving in the House of Representatives. She was sworn in to office Aug. 25 after winning a special election in Delaware County. She has received national attention for her work in economic development, program development and public policy.