R 86
99- S 849
Enacted 3/11/99

S E N A T E    R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Senators Graziano, Celona and Montalbano

Date Introduced : March 11, 1999

WHEREAS, On November 23, 1998, representatives from forty-six (46) states signed a settlement agreement with the five (5) largest tobacco manufacturers; and

WHEREAS, The Attorneys General Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement culminated legal action that began in 1994 when states began filing lawsuits against the tobacco industry; and

WHEREAS, The respective states are presently in the process of finalizing the terms of the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement, and are making initial fiscal determinations relative to the most responsible ways and means to utilize the settlement funds; and

WHEREAS, Under the terms of the agreement, tobacco manufactures will pay $206 billion over the next twenty-five (25) years to the respective states in up-front and annual payments; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island is projected to receive $1,408,469,747 through the year 2025 under the terms of the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement; and

WHEREAS, Because many state lawsuits sought to recover Medicaid funds spent to treat illnesses caused by tobacco use, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) contends that it is authorized and obligated, under the Social Security Act, to collect its share of any tobacco settlement funds attributable to Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, The Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement does not address the Medicaid recoupment issue, and thus the Social Security Act must be amended to resolve the recoupment issue in favor of the respective states; and

WHEREAS, In addition to the recoupment issue, there is also considerable interest, at both the state and national levels, in earmaking state tobacco settlement fund expenditures; and

WHEREAS, As we move toward final approval of the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement, it is imperative that state sovereignty be preserved; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations do hereby memorialize the United States Congress to enact legislation amending the Social Security Act to prohibit recoupment by the federal government of state tobacco settlement funds; and be it further

RESOLVED, That it is the sense of this Senate that the respective state legislatures should have complete autonomy over the appropriation and expenditure of state tobacco settlement funds; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he is hereby authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the United States of America; the President and the Secretary of the U.S. Senate; the Speaker and the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives; and to each member of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation.

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