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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 1999

Governor Approves Measure Creating Tobacco Settlement Fund

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed legislation preparing the state to receive its share of settlement funds resulting from the multi-state lawsuit against the tobacco industry. House Bill 1628 creates the Tobacco Settlement Recovery Fund, a special state treasury fund required under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement reached in November of last year.

"With our first settlement payment scheduled for later this month, we needed to create this fund so that all monies received can be kept together and earn interest while an appropriate disbursement plan is worked out," Ryan said.

Illinois is estimated to receive $9.1 billion over the next 25 years, including more than $400 million during this fiscal year. The legislation must be enacted in order for the Comptroller to establish the account into which these funds can be electronically transferred beginning later this month.

"I want to thank Attorney General Jim Ryan for all his hard work on this important issue," Ryan added.

"We have an historic opportunity to advance public health in this state," said Attorney General Jim Ryan. "It's important that we take steps to preserve the money while we decide how best to spend it."

The legislation does not address spending options of the settlement money.

House Bill 1628 passed both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously. House sponsors were Representatives Michael Madigan, D-Chicago; Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago; Bill Mitchell, R-Decatur; John Fritchey, D-Chicago; Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; and Tim Johnson, R-Sydney. Senate sponsors were Senators Dick Klemm, R-Crystal Lake and James "Pate" Philip, R-Wood Dale.


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