A Big Inhalation

Retailers take in ideas on regulations, e-cigs, importance of tobacco shopper.

Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

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This means that if a state needs $100 million a year to cover the program, the federal government will cover roughly $90 million of the costs during the first two years, with the states contributing just $10 million a year. However, come the 10th year, the state will be on the hook for $75 million, with the federal government covering only $25 million.

“The unanswered question is: Where are the states going to find that money?” Briant said.

And while Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been traveling to Republican-governed states such as Georgia and Michigan to try and garner support for the program, NATO is doing its part to make sure such governors know the steep cost that would come along with the proposed pre-K expansion.

“We’re issuing letters saying this is not going to work—and that states had better take notice because they’re going to be on the hook for significant funding going forward,” he said.

It’s a fight that’s far from over: Most Republican governors may like the concept of expanding pre-K education, but not if it means raising taxes to do so. Similarly, House Republicans are very cool on the idea of raising taxes again, especially after agreeing to an earlier tax increase (on the wealthy) earlier this year.

“This is going to be significant if it gets any traction,” Briant said. “That’s the real question: Will it get any traction?”

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