Butte County Board of Supervisors Adopts Ordinance To Determine Tobacco Settlement Allocation
The Butte County Board of Supervisors last week unanimously adopted an ordinance that will establish an advisory committee to make recommendations on the allocation of the county's share of the national tobacco settlement and criticized a ballot measure that would allocate a large part of the funds for tobacco education programs and tobacco-related health care costs, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. The ordinance, scheduled to take effect 30 days after adoption, will establish a nine-member advisory committee that includes representatives of health-related organizations and the public. The committee will make recommendations on the allocation of the county's $2 million to $2.5 million share of the tobacco settlement, monitor programs that receive the funds and "revisit the subject regularly to change where things are required." Paul McIntosh, chief administrative officer for the county, said that the ordinance provides "community input, accountability and flexibility." He also criticized Measure G, a ballot measure proposed by a group called the Full Allocation of Intended Revenue, or FAIR, as a "bald-faced grab at some cash."
Measure G, which will appear on the November ballot, would allocate a large part of the county's annual share of tobacco settlement funds to a number of tobacco education and cessation programs and programs to help cover tobacco-related health care costs, Phyllis Bond, community services director of the American Cancer Society chapter in Chico and a FAIR representative, said. The programs include:
- 20% for grants to reduce tobacco use; 20% for emergency rooms that provide services at no cost to low-income patients;
- 10% for the county Department of Public Health for tobacco prevention programs;
- 10% for community clinics that provide medical and dental services to low-income adults and children in the county;
- 10% for county trauma centers and hospitals that provide charity care; and
- 5% to improve medical services for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
The passage of Measure G would override the county ordinance, county counsel Bruce Alpert said (MacEachern, Chico Enterprise-Record, 7/24). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.