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N.D. House rejects tobacco prevention budget

BISMARCK (AP) -- A narrow House majority voted down the budget for the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy in part because it called for three new full-time employees.

The bill, which had previously passed the Senate, called for a $15.8 million budget. The center was created in 2008 by voters after North Dakota accepted money in a settlement of a 1998 multistate lawsuit against the country's largest tobacco companies.

Measure 3, as it was known, was approved by 54 percent of voters and requires the state to use a portion of the settlement money to fund a comprehensive tobacco-prevention program.

Rep. Jon Nelson told the Bismarck Tribune that some lawmakers have "a hard time accepting the vote" on the measure. The issue could be resurrected Friday.