Orange County Supervisor Drops Objections to Measure H
Orange County Supervisor Jim Silva said Monday he would oppose an appeal of a court ruling last week that affirmed the constitutionality of Measure H, the Orange County Register reports. Silva had previously supported a court challenge of Measure H, which requires the county to spend 80% of its annual share of the tobacco settlement on health programs. With Silva's "change of heart," a majority of the board now favors allowing Measure H to become law (Reed, Orange County Register, 2/27). Silva said, "The county should implement the initiative in the spirit in which it was intended." He added that the county should "focus on county issues" instead of spending funds on "further court action" (Pasco, Los Angeles Times, 2/27). Supervisor Charles Smith, who opposed Measure H, was "dismayed." He said, "I'm surprised. We haven't even had any legal discussion (with county attorneys) on appealing" (Orange County Register, 2/27).
In other news, a Ventura County Superior Court judge has ordered Community Memorial Hospital to pay more than $29,000 in legal fees to the attorney who represented opponents of Measure O, the ballot initiative sponsored by CMH that would have diverted the county's share of the tobacco settlement to local private hospitals (Ventura County Star, 2/27). The hospital and a coalition opposing the initiative sued each other over who was responsible for legal fees incurred while arguing over the wording of the ballot measure in court. Walsh ruled that the hospital was responsible for the fees, as the coalition and its attorney, Fred Woocher, "lacked a financial interest" in the outcome of the vote on Measure O (Gorman, Los Angeles Times, 2/27).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.