Governor Tom Vilsack today (Monday) renewed his call for an increase in the state tax on tobacco. Last week, Senate Co-Leader Stewart Iverson, a republican from Dows, said it was a “big lie” to say the state had to raise the cigarette tax to cover a predicted shortfall in Medicaid — state-paid health care for the poor and disabled. Vilsack says if the tax isn’t raised, other priorities will have to be sacrificed in the republicans’ “bare bones” approach.”The numbers are what the numbers are,” Vilsack says. Iowans have “spoken clearly” — according to Vilsack, and want teacher salaries raised and more state money plowed into the state universities and community colleges to tuition doesn’t go up precipitously. “I not only feel that way. The people of Iowa feel that way, importantly,” Vilsack says. Vilsack says raising the cigarette tax will also prompt some Iowans to quit, and keep younger Iowans from taking up the habit