Protect Vermont's Tobacco Control Program Funding

Protect Vermont's Tobacco Control Program Funding

Level-fund program at $3.9 million in FY18

In 2015, ACS CAN and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont had a session long battle to level fund Vermont’s Tobacco Control Program in the third year of a sustainability agreement in which the legislature agreed to keep funding at $3.9 million from FY14-FY16. In 2016, again, we spent the entire session fighting a minor proposed cut of $65,000 to the program, but we were able to get language written into the FY17 Budget allowing us to work with the Administration to develop a sustainable funding stream for the Program. In the upcoming fiscal cycle, Vermont will lose about one-third of the current annual Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payment of $33 million. This money, along with approximately $77 million in tobacco tax revenue goes into the State Health Care Resources fund, which supports state health care programs including Medicaid. Medicaid suffered a $48 million gap (state dollars) in funding for FY17 and reportedly faces a $50-60 million projected hole for the upcoming fiscal cycle. This gap, combined with the loss of $11-12 million from the MSA dollars puts the entire Tobacco Control Program funding at risk in Vermont.