Tobacco attorney urges state to preserve Trust Fund

11/19/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday) | Listen to this entire show:

Welcome to WMNF’s Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei.

Ten years ago, trial lawyers won billions of dollars from the tobacco companies to help pay for the health care of people who are suffering from lung cancer and other health related diseases. But the money from the 1998 tobacco settlement is propping up state of Florida government and helping balance the state budget. Is that the right use for the money? We’ll talk about that with one of the attorneys who won the lawsuit for the state of Florida.

But first some listener comments about yesterday’s interview with Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center on the rise of hate incidents in the U.S. since Barack Obama’s election.

It was 10 years ago this week that states – lead by Florida - reached their historic $246 billion settlement with tobacco companies. But there are some concerns: Is the state doing enough to try to prevent young people from smoking? Is the state using money from the tobacco trust fund to pay for general revenue? And is the tobacco trust fund in danger of disappearing?

Our guest is Tampa attorney Steve Yerrid who was one of the lead attorneys on the case.

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