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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12
INTRODUCED BY M. COLE, S. BARTLETT, T. BECK, C. CHRISTIAENS, V. COCCHIARELLA, B. CRIPPEN, W. CRISMORE, B. DEPRATU, S. DOHERTY, D. ECK, P. EKEGREN, J. ELLINGSON, B. GLASER, L. GROSFIELD, M. HALLIGAN, D. HARGROVE, J. HARP, J. HERTEL, R. JABS, T. KEATING, B. KEENAN, J. LYNCH, D. MAHLUM, B. MCCARTHY, W. MCNUTT, A. MOHL, L. NELSON, G. ROUSH, D. SHEA, M. SPRAGUE, M. TAYLOR, J. TESTER, D. TOEWS, M. WATERMAN, J. WELLS
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA OBJECTING TO ANY ATTEMPT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE FROM THE STATES, TERRITORIES, COMMONWEALTHS, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ANY OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE TOBACCO SETTLEMENT RECENTLY REACHED WITH THE TOBACCO COMPANIES AND URGING THE U.S. CONGRESS TO ACT TO PREVENT FURTHER ASSERTION OF THAT CLAIM.
WHEREAS, on November 23, 1998, 46 states, U.S. territories, commonwealths, and the District of Columbia reached a multibillion dollar settlement with six tobacco companies to end pending civil actions brought by the states claiming as damages money spent treating residents for injuries caused by smoking; and
WHEREAS, the United States has asserted a claim to over one-half of the settlement money, claiming that much of the money to be received by the states amounts to Medicaid overpayments and, as such, can be "recouped" by the federal government; and
WHEREAS, the record-setting settlement was achieved by the states, territories, commonwealths, and the District of Columbia through their efforts and their efforts alone, the federal government having played no role whatsoever in the proceedings leading to the settlement or the settlement negotiations; and
WHEREAS, having played no role in the lawsuits and settlements, any attempt by the United States to "recoup" the damages paid by the tobacco companies amounts to a seizure of money to which the states, territories, commonwealths, and the District of Columbia have a moral and legal claim; and
WHEREAS, there is bipartisan support forming in the U.S. Congress for the introduction of legislation to keep the United States from making good on its claim for recoupment; and
WHEREAS, strong support should be shown by Montana for the Congressional efforts to prevent the United States from further asserting ownership of the settlement proceeds.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Montana Legislature convey to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives its strong opposition to the taking by the federal government of any of the proceeds of the tobacco settlement.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature requests the Congress to enact legislation to keep the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from further asserting or making good on a claim to the settlement proceeds.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature requests the Montana Congressional Delegation to work closely with those members of Congress who will sponsor legislation to see that the proceeds of the settlement be paid to and retained by the states.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of Montana's Congressional Delegation.
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Latest Version of SJ 12 (SJ0012.ENR)
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