Proposed Ballot Measure Would Spend Butte County Tobacco Settlement Funds on Anti-Tobacco, Health Programs
Anti-tobacco and health care advocacy groups in Butte County Tuesday submitted signatures to place a measure on the November ballot that would allocate 75% of the county's share of the national tobacco settlement for tobacco cessation programs and tobacco-related health care costs, MediaNews Group/Chico Enterprise-Record reports. Supporters of the Full Allocation of Intended Revenues measure, which include the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the Butte Glenn Medical Society, said that they have collected almost 12,000 signatures, about 5,000 more than the 6,562 required to place the measure on the ballot. The measure would direct about 75% of the county's $2 million annual share of tobacco settlement funds to tobacco education and cessation and related health care costs, Phyllis Bond, director of the American Cancer Society chapter in Chico, said. The measure would divide the funds among a number of programs, including:
- 30% for a fund in the Butte County Treasury for tobacco prevention programs;
- 20% for emergency medical services provided at no cost to low-income patients;
- 10% for community clinics that provide medical and dental services to low-income adults and children in the county;
- 10% to county hospitals to cover the costs of charity care; and
- 5% to increase medical services for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Bond said that the measure would "reduce the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and diminish the burdensome health care costs of tobacco use." Butte County officials must verify the signatures before they place the measure on the ballot. If approved by July 1, the measure will appear on the November ballot (Andersen, MediaNews Group/Chico Enterprise-Record, 5/15). 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.