LAGUNA HONDA: Tobacco Money Could Finance Construction
San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (D) said yesterday he and City Attorney Louise Renne have agreed to use a "big chunk" of the city's $539 million tobacco industry settlement to rebuild Laguna Honda Hospital. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Brown formally announced yesterday that the hospital "will not need a bond issue," and that he also hopes "to get state money for the project." Brown said Renne, who helped negotiate the settlement with the tobacco industry, will "put together a team" to work on Laguna Honda. Although Renne refused to "rule out a bond issue requiring voter approval," she said she will meet with Public Health Department officials and city finance experts "to figure out how to proceed." She said, "This is money we don't get every day. Let's use it for the special projects we might not be able otherwise to do." Of the Laguna Honda agreement, City Supervisor Michael Yaki said, "Nothing like the tobacco industry to help you out. Thank you Joe Camel" (Epstein, 11/18). Click here for previous coverage of Laguna Honda.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.