Arizona Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund, Proposition 204 (2000)
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|Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund|
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
(Summary by Arizona Legislative Council) In 1998, the attorneys general of 46 states, including Arizona, agreed to settle a lawsuit they had filed against the manufacturers of tobacco products. As a result, the tobacco manufacturers must pay each of those states a portion of the estimated $206 billion settlement each year over the next 25 years.
Arizona's share is estimated to total approximately $3.2 billion. Payments are subject to annual adjustments for inflation. The settlement also includes a provision to reduce payments if the volume of cigarettes sold in the United States falls. The settlement agreement allows each state to determine how it will spend its share of the settlement.
Proposition 204 would require Arizona to deposit all of the money it receives over the next 25 years from the tobacco litigation settlement in the "Arizona Tobacco Litigation settlement fund." Money in the fund would be used to increase the number of people who are eligible for coverage in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which is the state's health care system for the poor. Currently, there are many eligibility categories that determine if a person can receive health care under AHCCCS, including one that requires that a recipient's net income not exceed approximately 34% of the federal poverty level. If Proposition 204 passes, people who earn up to 100% of the federal poverty level will qualify to receive health care under AHCCCS. Future legislatures could change the eligibility requirements to allow more people to qualify to receive health care under AHCCCS but the Legislature and the AHCCCS administration could not reduce or limit the number of persons who would be able to enroll in AHCCCS.
Any excess monies in the Arizona tobacco litigation settlement fund would also be used to ensure that programs that were previously established by the passage of a proposition in the 1996 general election would be fully implemented at funding levels that, when adjusted each year for inflation, would be at least equal to those provided for in that election as follows:
1. Five million dollars for the Healthy Families program, which provides services to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote child wellness and proper development.
2. Four million dollars for the Arizona Health Education System to provide scholarships to medical students who agree to practice in areas of the state that are currently underserved by health care professionals.
3. Three million dollars for programs to prevent teenage pregnancy.
4. Two million dollars for disease control research.
5. Two million dollars for Health Start, a program that aims to reduce the incidence of low birth weight babies and childhood diseases and to educate families on the importance of good nutrition and preventive health care for their children.
6. One million dollars for the Women, Infants and Children Food program.
Under the 1996 proposition, all of these programs have had to rely on distributions from lottery revenues. However, this has proven to be an insufficient source of funding for these programs.
Fiscal Impact Summary: Proposition 204 allocates monies received from tobacco companies as part of a lawsuit settlement. The state is expected to receive between $92 million and $109 million annually through 2006. By 2025, the state is expected to have received $3.2 billion in total tobacco settlement revenues. Proposition 204 would use these monies to expand eligibility for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which is the state's health care system for the poor.
A second ballot proposition, Healthy Children, Healthy Families (Proposition 200), also fully spends the tobacco settlement. If both initiatives pass, and Healthy Children, Healthy Families receives more votes than this initiative, this initiative would still go into effect. However, the entire projected state cost of the program would need to be paid from its general or other revenues.