I have some bad news to share, we were not able to stop legislation that will break up the dedicated Tobacco Prevention and Control Fund. In late April the legislature passed HB1296, CD1. While we are reaching out to the Governor and asking him to veto the bill because of unrelated critical funding measures that were added to the bill in the waning moments of the session we think it will be a big lift to convince him to veto it.
The one little bit of good news in this frustrating situation is that instead of repealing the dedicated fund for the state’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Fund (TTF) right away the bill was amended so that it won’t happen until 2025. However, funding for community programs will end in 2024. While never a guarantee we hope that this will provide us time and future legislative sessions to continue our fight and hopefully roll back this decision.
The state is facing some difficult financial decisions which is why some lawmakers felt this bill was necessary but other lawmakers understood how important these programs are and voted NO on it. The repeal of the Fund will subsequently cost state taxpayers millions of dollars more annually in the future.
Although this is not the news, we had hoped to share we want to thank you for your support this legislative session and we hope we can count on your support moving forward as we continue to tackle the issue of tobacco/e-cigarette use in Hawaii.