Organizers of Perata’s Tobacco Tax Plan Agree To Backfill First 5
On Monday, organizers of a proposed ballot initiative to raise tobacco taxes agreed to amend the measure to protect funding for California's First 5 program, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The First 5 program started in 1998 under Proposition 10, which raised tobacco taxes by 50 cents per pack to fund early childhood health care and education programs.
Last month, 2010 Oakland mayoral candidate and former Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D) proposed a ballot initiative that would add an additional one dollar per pack tax to fund cancer research and anti-smoking programs.
Perata's initiative included a "backfill" provision to protect previous tobacco tax allocations from any resulting declines in cigarette sales. The initiative did not include a backfill provision to replenish the First 5 fund.
Last week, a Legislative Analyst's Office report found that the First 5 program could lose $45 million per year under Perata's proposal because the initiative does not include a backfill provision.Paul Hefner, Perata campaign consultant, said the ballot initiative's sponsors agreed to change course after an analysis found that Perata's measure could backfill the First 5 fund and still generate $800 million annually for cancer research and anti-smoking programs (Richman, Oakland Tribune, 12/7). 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.