Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

Project Prologue

The Tobacco Trust Fund

The main concern with the Tobacco Trust Fund was how to control the funds from the settlement: how each state was going to handle taking the monies, dealing with spending them, and so forth. Governor Leavitt thought it should have been the responsibility of the governors of the states, but as it turned out, the Attorneys General of the states involved were the driving force behind deciding how the money was spent. As a result, all of the rules about who can and can’t spend the money from the settlement, and under what circumstances, were for the most part forged by the Attorneys General of the country. Part of the reason that this was of some concern was because the Utah Attorney General at the time, Jan Graham, brought in an attorney from Mississippi who was at the forefront of the settlement, and came to Utah to instruct on how the use of funds from the settlement should be approached. At times there were tense meetings, and it was clear that Governor Leavitt wanted to have more control over the situation, but ultimately, the rules were set how the attorney from Mississippi organized them. Some of the rules were that a certain percentage had to be used for prevention programs and healthcare-related uses, and that no lobbyist who had ever worked for a tobacco company could have any influence on how the funds were used. Even now, years after the settlement, if there is any sense that someone who was a tobacco lobbyist is pushing to spend money from a trust fund for any project, they get pulled off of the project. A few years ago, a former lobbyist from the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was trying to get money for a project, and her idea was to take it from the trust fund, and the appropriations chair stopped it. There was a separate trust fund created in the constitution, where tobacco monies were to be placed and could be spent under certain circumstances. In the end, Jan Graham was able to push her influence and the legislature went with it, and Governor Leavitt didn’t push back against it very hard, but let it go, partly because it was new money for the state.

Additional Information

Tobacco Deal Still Should Fly. The Deseret News. September 17, 1997. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19970917.pdf New Hatch Bill Would Modify Tobacco Deal. The Deseret News. November 13, 1997. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19971113.pdf Governors Tell the Feds To Quit Hobbling Them—They Want Control of Tobacco Money, Education Funds. The Deseret News. February 23, 1999. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19990223.pdf Hansen Bill Bans Feds From Tobacco Money. The Deseret News. March 18, 1999. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19990318b.pdf States Divided On Uses For Tobacco Cash. The Deseret News. March 28, 1999. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19990328.pdf Union Health Funds are Cleared to Sue Cigarette Makers. The Salt Lake Tribune. April 3, 1999. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19990403.pdf Leavitt to Lobby Congress On Tobacco Settlement. The Salt Lake Tribune. April 14, 1999. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19990414.pdf Tobacco Funds for Drug Courts? The Deseret News. December 8, 1999. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW19991208.pdf Spending the Windfall. The Salt Lake Tribune. December 21, 1999. http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms122/NW/ms122NW19991221.pdf Put Tobacco Money in Trust Fund, Treasurer Suggests. The Deseret News. January 13, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20000113a.pdf Senate Pares Down Tobacco Money Bills. The Salt Lake Tribune. January 26, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20000126b.pdf Coalition Rallying Public on Anti-Tobacco Spending. The Salt Lake Tribune. February 25, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20000225.pdf New Plans for Tobacco Settlement. The Deseret News. February 26, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20000226a.pdf Tobacco Settlement Monies Keep Lawmakers Working. The Salt Lake Tribune. February 26, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20000226d.pdf Tobacco Money Is Finally Meted Out, Half Goes to Health Programs and Half to a Trust Fund. The Deseret News. March 2, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20000302.pdf Health Groups Oppose a Tobacco Trust Fund. The Deseret News. November 1, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20001101.pdf Where, Oh, Where Will Tobacco $$ Go? The Deseret News. November 1, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20001101b.pdf Proposition 2 Merits Support. The Deseret News. November 3, 2000. https://spcoll.li.suu.edu/eadfiles/Xe1kcH8BnM5_0W5sJ69V/ms122NW20001103.pdf Utah Skimps on Anti-Tobacco Funds. The Salt Lake Tribune. November 22, 2002.

Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service