SAN JOSE: Council Okays New Tobacco Settlement Guidelines
The San Jose City Council voted unanimously yesterday to adopt guidelines governing the distribution of the city's share of the national tobacco settlement that likely will divert some of the money toward groups hoping to provide health insurance to uninsured children, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The 9-0 vote comes three months after the council voted down a proposal, sponsored by Working Partnerships and faith-based People Acting in Community Together, that would have allocated some of the city's estimated $10 million annual share of the settlement to cover the city's 37,000 uninsured children. Under the new guidelines, proposals to insure children, such as the initiative proposed three months ago, "would likely score much higher in the review process and, therefore, be recommended for funding." Proposed by San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, the new guidelines mark a change of position by the mayor, who "led opposition to the [original] health insurance proposal," as a way to preserve the funds for "antitobacco efforts, education initiatives and programs for senior citizens." At the end of the month, city officials will begin collecting proposals for review by a committee of council members and citizens (Levey, 9/6).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.