Walker backs fee for state smokers - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Walker backs fee for state smokers

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Part of Governor Scott Walker's budget plan includes charging state workers who smoke.

Walker's budget proposes a $50 per month surcharge for smokers.

The head of U.W. Milwaukee's graduate Department of Public Administration calls the charge an excise tax, but says it's one most people won't object to.

But he says the fee itself probably isn't the biggest concern.

"What's going to be controversial is measuring what defines a smoker versus a non-smoker. Is it a pack-a-day? Is it one cigarette a day? The devil is in the details," said UW-Milwaukee's John Bohte.

Those details are still being worked out.

The Walker administration estimates the fee would affect about 10 percent of the state's 69,000 workers.

It still needs to be approved by the state legislature.

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