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Pa. Tobacco Settlement Funds Secretly Diverted To General Fund

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania’s auditor general says more than a billion dollars in tobacco settlement funds intended for health-related programs have been quietly raided to balance the state budget in recent years.

In 2001, lawmakers enacted a bill stipulating that tobacco funds should be spent on a number of health programs, including the just-ended insurance program for low-income adults, AdultBasic. Auditor General Jack Wagner says that roadmap was followed until 2005, when the mandates were quietly overridden.

“There was a funding source for AdultBasic and a score of other health programs. But it has been quietly diverted in recent years to patch holes in the general budget, without any public discussion.”

Another program that took a hard hit was smoking prevention and cessation. Wagner says #$1.33 billion have been diverted, representing about 30-percent of the Tobacco Settlement Payment monies received since 1999, something he calls a “fiasco of a budgetary gimmick.”

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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    what smokers need is a class action law suit against the thieves of pa,and the tobacco companies to recover actual monies to the smokers they killed and the gov. weallow to genicide its people. the us should leave other countries alone and start polcing the criminals we call elected officials.pat from pgh.

  • bottomline

    Yep! The whole thing was a scam to “extort” cash from the tobacco companies – which, everyone knew, would be passed on to the smokers. Which was worse for our health, the politicians or the cigarettes?
    Even the hearings (1993) about the dangers from second hand smoke were a farce.

  • Frank

    Never saw this deceit coming from our trusted politicians.

    Pure turds, they are…

  • Guess Who

    Which just proves that the settlement was nothing more than a way for the government to rip off the tobacco companies in exchange for allowing them to continue killing their customers,

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