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Wis. gov vetoes tobacco surcharge

Published On: Jul 01 2013 04:20:23 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 08 2013 11:12:30 AM CDT

© Noskowski

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

Gov. Scott Walker has vetoed his own plan to charge state workers more for health insurance if they smoke.

Walker's executive state budget would have required state workers who smoke to pay $50 more per month for health insurance. Walker's administration said the extra charge was necessary because health care is more expensive for tobacco users.

But Walker used his partial veto powers to erase the plan from the final budget he signed Sunday.

Walker's veto message says new federal guidance on tobacco surcharges was issued after he drew up the fee plan that would make the program too cumbersome. For example, Walker wrote, a smoker could avoid the fee by joining a cessation program.

A Walker spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking details.