Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund Expenditures, State Question 701 (2002)

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund Expenditures Amendment, also known as State Question 701, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Oklahoma as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have allowed expenditures from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund of up to five and a half percent of the average market value of the fund each year, rather than limiting expenditures to the earnings from the fund.[1]

Election results

Oklahoma State Question 701 (2002)
Defeatedd No518,28054.90%
Yes 425,717 45.10%

Election results via: Oklahoma Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title appeared as:[2]

This measure amends the Oklahoma Constitution. It amends Section 40 of Article 10. This measure changes certain procedures related to the tobacco trust fund. It changes the way it is determined how much money in the fund may be spent each year. Now only earnings of the fund may be spent. This measure would base spending from the fund on the average market value of the fund. Each year an amount not to exceed 5 1/2 percent of the average market value of the fund may be spent. The actual percentage amount to be expended is set by the Board of Investors. It cannot exceed 5 1/2 percent. Monies from the fund may be used to pay outside vendors and for financial management services.


Full text

The full text of the measure can be read here.


When the tobacco fund was originally set up, only its earnings could be tapped to fund projects for smoking cessation and prevention, health care, education, cancer treatment and other purposes. At the time, that seemed the wisest, most conservative approach.

But State Treasurer Robert Butkin, who was chair of the fund's board of investors, said that this policy did not take into account years when the fund has no earnings due to flat or negative financial markets. This meant that worthwhile programs could go without funding, he said.

Under State Question 701, the board could have used up to 5.5 percent of the average market value of the fund over the previous 16 calendar quarters for programs. Butkin said that most permanent endowment funds are set up this way.[4]

See also

Suggest a link

External links


  1. Oklahoma Secretary of State, "State Questions," accessed November 25, 2014
  2. Oklahoma Secretary of State, "State Question 701," accessed November 25, 2014
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. The Journal Record