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Economic Climate Impacts Distribution Amount
The Tobacco Settlement Permanent Trust Account Investment Advisory Committee approved $46.2 million for the year 2010 tobacco settlement distribution. According to the distribution report published by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), 163 counties received about $5.7 million in reimbursements.
Under the terms of a historic settlement negotiated in the summer of 1998, tobacco companies agreed to create a $2.275 billion fund for the benefit of "all hospital districts, other local political subdivisions owning and maintaining public hospitals, and counties of the state of Texas responsible for providing indigent care to the general public."
At the outset, $450 million of the nearly $2.3 billion was deposited into a "lump sum trust account" and distributed to local entities over a three-year period. The remainder, approximately $1.8 billion, was deposited into a "permanent trust account" with local entities receiving yearly disbursements each spring from investment earnings.
Due to the economic situation in April 2009, the Tobacco Settlement Permanent Trust Account Investment Advisory Committee put political subdivisions on notice to plan for a reduced distribution in 2010 of no more than half the amount received in 2009, said Pat Czepiel, manager of the DSHS Funds Coordination and Management Branch. The distribution level for 2009 (same distribution level as 2008) resulted in a significant withdrawal from the Distribution Stabilization Account, or the “Rainy Day Fund.”
“The Committee is carefully considering measures to safeguard the trust in situations like we faced recently with the economy,” Czepiel said.
DSHS has certified the expenditure statements submitted by the eligible political subdivisions. According to the report identifying 2009 unreimbursed health care expenditures, hospital districts reported $2,272,831,688.26; eligible cities reported $2,896,109.82; and counties reported $322,760,882.85. Total expenditures reported by all eligible political subdivisions for 2009 were $2,598,488,680.93. The total 2010 distribution was $46,151,923.00.
For more information on the tobacco settlement, go to http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/tobaccosettlement/default.shtm.