Pa. gets more tobacco-suit settlement funds
Pennsylvania has received its fifth major payment, $230.5 million, as part of its $11 billion settlement with the tobacco industry.
State officials, however, still have not agreed how to use the money, which the governor wants earmarked for health plans. "I urge the General Assembly and Gov. Ridge to approve a plan that would fund vital health-care initiatives," Attorney General Mike Fisher said.
Pennsylvania's latest installment has increased the total received to $800 million. "The fact that we still haven't put this issue to rest is becoming a national embarrassment," said Rep. Mike Veon (D., Beaver), House minority whip. He and House Minority Leader Bill DeWeese (D., Fayette) said Fisher and other Republicans should work with Democrats to create a comprehensive plan.