Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
July 10, 2015

  • The attorney general approved title and summary Friday
  • Three-quarters of the money would go to healthcare programs
  • The initiative says raising reimbursement rates should be a priority

A tobacco-tax initiative proposed for the November 2016 ballot would raise as much as $1 billion to increase reimbursement rates for healthcare providers, about three-quarters of the estimated revenue that would be generated by the $2-per-pack tax hike.

But Friday’s title and summary from the Attorney General’s Office makes no mention of higher reimbursement rates, a priority of the California Medical Association and some other supporters of the effort, which has raised $2 million.

A Harris spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Friday’s title-and-summary clears the way for proponents to begin gathering signatures. They have until Jan. 5, 2016 to gather 365,880 valid voter signatures.

Friday’s title notes that money raised by the tobacco tax would “fund healthcare, tobacco use prevention, research and law enforcement.” And according to the summary, the measure “allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for existing healthcare programs and services,” and also “for tobacco use prevention/control programs, for tobacco-related disease research, for state/local agencies to enhance tobacco law enforcement.”

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