House GOP leader seeks debate on opioid, vaping taxes

Boston Statehouse
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(AP) — A proposed tax on manufacturers of opioid medications sold in Massachusetts may yet be debated by state lawmakers.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker originally asked for the 15 percent tax as part of his state budget request in January, but it was not included in a spending plan released last week by the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. Brad Jones, the House Republican leader, has filed an amendment to restore the opioid tax. Another amendment he’s filed calls for a tax on electronic cigarettes and vaping products, which Baker had also supported.

That could put Democrats in the odd position of voting on Republican-backed tax proposals when the budget is debated next week.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he doesn’t want to consider taxes until later in the session.

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