Fallin reacts to Supreme Court ruling on smoking cessation fee

Team Radio Marketing Group - August 10, 2017 11:56 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday issued the following statement in response to the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down a smoking cessation fee approved this past legislative session:

“I am disappointed to hear the Supreme Court struck down the smoking cessation fee, but I certainly respect the justices’ authority. I will be discussing with legislative leaders from both parties the need to address the $215 million shortfall this will create for the Department of Human Services, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the three agencies that received the bulk of the money that was to be generated by the cessation fee.

“These agencies and the people they serve cannot sustain the kind of cuts that will occur if we do not find a solution. My belief is we will have to come into special session to address this issue.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Senate Bill 860, the General Appropriations bill, appropriates the second portion of revenue that would have been generated from the smoking cessation fee to these entities in the following amounts:

Oklahoma Health Care Authority would have received $70 million (about 7 percent of its total appropriation).

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services would have received $75 million (about 23 percent of its total appropriation).

The Department of Human Services would have received $69 million (about 10 percent of its total appropriation).

With the tobacco cessation fee being struck down, and without other legislative intervention, those agencies receiving apportionments or appropriations outlined above will not get these funds.

Senate Bill 845 directed that revenue from the smoking cessation fee it would have created to be apportioned as follows:

The first $1 million deposited to the ABLE Commission Revolving Fund, then:

All amounts in excess of $1 million to the Health Care Enhancement Fund.

 

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