Former AG speaking today in JamestownFormer North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp will speak in Jamestown at 7 p.m. today at the James River Senior and Community Center. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.
Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp will speak in Jamestown at 7 p.m. today at the James River Senior and Community Center. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.
Heitkamp will be discussing an initiated measure to use new tobacco settlement payments for comprehensive tobacco-use prevention. Heitkamp served as attorney general during the Master Settlement Agreement, in which 46 states successfully sued the tobacco industry. Heitkamp was one of the attorneys general who worked a larger share during negotiations of the settlement, and that has resulted in a larger share of the new dollars for North Dakota. The strategic contribution fund compensates North Dakota and other states that were directly involved in negotiating the settlement. North Dakota is scheduled to receive about $14 million a year for 10 years from the fund.
The initiated measure seeks to secure these new dollars by placing them in a new trust fund for tobacco control. A committee consisting of medical and public health professionals along with a representative of the general public and youth would develop and implement a tobacco control program.
Currently, 90 percent of the monies coming to the state from the Master Settlement Agreement are distributed to education and water projects. The remaining 10 percent are for public health, of which 8 percent is focused on tobacco. The current formula would not change. The $14 million that are new to the state would be dedicated to tobacco prevention and other public health concerns.
For more information about the Support Tobacco Prevention Initiative, visit the Web site at www.stpnd.com.