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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
April 16, 2008

Communities Receive $92.3 Million in Tobacco
Settlement Funds to Offset Health Care Costs

(AUSTIN) —Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has distributed $92.3 million to Texas communities from the Tobacco Settlement Permanent Trust Account.

The money, released on Wednesday, will help 2 cities, 159 counties, and 135 hospital districts recover their costs for indigent health care provided during 2007.

“This year the state is sending 12 percent more money to communities responsible for providing indigent care,” Combs said. “This money comes from Texas’ settlement with tobacco companies and will help communities offset the costs of providing medical care for those who cannot pay.”

The Tobacco Settlement Permanent Trust Account, established after the state settled a lawsuit against tobacco companies, as of Dec. 31, 2007, had a balance of $2.4 billion. The Comptroller manages and oversees the fund, with the guidance of the 11-member Tobacco Settlement Permanent Trust Account Investment Advisory Committee.

This year’s distribution to local entities increased by about $9.6 million over last year’s distribution. Since the first distribution of funds in April 2001, local entities have received nearly $430 million from the trust fund.

Cities, counties and hospital districts receive annual distributions of tobacco settlement money, based upon the amount of unreimbursed indigent health care they report to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

A list of cities, counties and hospital districts receiving tobacco settlement funds this year is available on the Texas Department of State Health Services Web site at www.dshs.state.tx.us/tobaccosettlement.

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Find details on all the services of the Comptroller’s office at www.window.state.tx.us, including a transparent look at state spending at www.window.state.tx.us/wherethemoneygoes.

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