Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate Continues Consideration of Tobacco Deal; Feinstein Amendment Would Include Cities in Settlement

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate Continues Consideration of Tobacco Deal; Feinstein Amendment Would Include Cities in Settlement

Article excerpt

As The Weekly went to press, the Senate was continuing debate on tobacco legislation with hopes of completion before July 4.

A vote on a critical amendment to cities was expected late last week, that would address recovery of local funds already spent by local governments to treat tobacco-related illnesses. Municipal preemption issues regarding advertising and sales still stand to be threatened by the bill.

The "National Tobacco Policy and Youth Smoking Reduction Act" (S. 1415), sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.) would settle the lawsuits brought by the states attorneys general against tobacco companies, increase the federal excise tax on cigarettes by $1.10, and would allocate funds to children and teen smoking prevention programs.

Amendments approved last week would include a fix to the marriage tax penalty for federal taxes, which would eat up at least one third of the revenue raised by the bill originally slated to address smoking related costs and treatment. Additionally, anti-drug programs were added to the bill in an amendment.

NLC's coalition, the local government tobacco coalition , (International Municipal Lawyers Association, National Association of Counties, National Association of Public Hospitals, National League of Cities, and U.S. Conference of Mayors) successfully secured the support of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) and Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.), who filed an amendment to address local government compensation issues. The amendment was slated for consideration late last week.

Together with Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.), Senators Feinstein and D'Amato proposed an amendment to the bill to require States to share the funds they receive under the legislation with those local governments that sued the tobacco industry before June 20, 1997. …

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