Legislature(1999 - 2000)

1999-02-19 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1999-02-19                     House Journal                      Page 0258
HB 102                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 102 by the House Rules Committee by request of                  
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
"An Act imposing certain requirements relating to cigarette sales             
in this state by tobacco product manufacturers, including                      
requirements for escrow, payment, and reporting of money from                  
cigarette sales in this state; providing penalties for noncompliance           
with those requirements; and providing for an effective date."                 
was read the first time and referred to the Judiciary and Finance              
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Revenue, 2/19/99                                    
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Law, 2/19/99                                        

1999-02-19                     House Journal                      Page 0259
HB 102                                                                       
The Governor's transmittal letter dated February 19, 1999, appears             
"Dear Speaker Porter:                                                          
Cigarette smoking presents serious public health concerns to the state         
and its citizens.  Recently, this Administration, along with virtually         
every other state, reached a monumental master settlement agreement            
with the leading tobacco producers.  That agreement was approved by            
the Alaska Superior Court on February 9, 1999.  Under the terms of             
the settlement, it is anticipated the State of Alaska will receive $670        
million over the next 25 years and will benefit from important                 
restrictions on advertising and other matters to address public health         
While this is an important step forward in addressing this significant         
health problem, the states that are parties to the agreement wanted to         
be sure the problem was more comprehensively addressed.  This bill             
I transmit today would help do that by placing some requirements on            
tobacco product manufacturers who sell cigarettes in the state but do          
not sign the settlement agreement.                                             
Under this bill, the non-participating tobacco manufacturers will take         
responsibility for their share of the financial burden caused by their         
products by setting up escrow accounts to cover qualified claims for           
health-related concerns.  The availability of the escrow money will            
better ensure a source of compensation for Alaskans while preventing           
those manufacturers from deriving large, short-term profits from sales         
in this state and then becoming judgment-proof before liability may            
arise.  This bill is fair and puts all tobacco product manufacturers on        
an equal footing regarding cigarette sales in Alaska.                          
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this bill, as part of an            
overall solution to address this major public health concern.                  
							Tony Knowles