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Lobbyist Money Help  

State considers windfall from possible tobacco deal

November 17, 1998
By: Lee McGuire
State Capital Bureau
Links: Full text of the tobacco settlement agreement at http://www.naag.org/tob2.htm.

All eyes are on Attorney General Jay Nixon as he decides whether to join a multi-billion dollar settlement with the tobacco industry. Lee McGuire is in Jefferson City with more on a battle that's already brewing, over where the money would go:

Six-point-seven billion dollars. More than 200 million dollars every year, twenty five times over. It would be an historic windfall.

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Contents: [103K WAV file - The Senate Republican leader says it's possible Missouri taxpayers will get the tobacco settlement money.]

Senate minority leader Steve Ehlmann says that money would probably fall under the Handcock Amendment. That means the state would divide up the money and send it directly to taxpayers.

But state budget director Mark Ward says that amendment wouldn't apply to settlement money, and that the state could use it for anything.

Ehlmann and other legislators say that with billions of dollars potentially at stake, big political battles over what to do are virtually guaranteed. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


Date: November 17, 1998

By: Lee McGuire

State Capital Bureau

Attorney General Jay Nixon is still deciding whether to accept a proposed multi-billion dollar settlement with the tobacco industry, but Republican leaders are already talking about where that money should go. Lee McGuire has more from Jefferson City:

House Minority Leader Delbert Scott says he wants the bulk of any settlement money to go toward reinforcing long-term state programs like education.

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Contents: [107K WAV file - He says the state should also fund infrastructure.]

But Scott's counterpart in the Senate, Steve Ehlmann, says the money would probably be refunded to taxpayers under the Hancock Amendment.

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Contents: [87K WAV file - He says the refund should go to the taxpayers.]

Legislators on both sides of the aisle say that if a settlement is reached, big debates are in store over whether the money is indeed covered under Hancock. In Jefferson City, LTM, KMOX News.