BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana senator has agreed to accept the state's cigarette tax renewal that the House tacked onto his proposal to fund a popular college scholarship program, potentially ending one of the most contentious battles of the legislative session.

The move could mean that the bill will emerge from a conference committee with the 4-cent tax extension intact.

Both the House and Senate will have to vote on the measure Thursday before it can receive final passage, and then it will require approval from voters in a fall ballot initiative.

Without enacting a renewal, Louisiana's cigarette tax will drop from 36 to 32 cents per pack at the end of June 2012. The state already has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation and one of the highest rates of tobacco use.

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