Oregon

Measure 50 Campaigns Dispute How Much Money Will Go To Kids

OPB | Oct. 17, 2007 8:01 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:18 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Kristian Foden-Vencil

Cigarette companies sent out another swath of letters this week in an effort to kill Measure 50. It would raise state tobacco taxes to pay for the Healthy Kids Program.

As Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, the letters insist most of the money raised, won’t help children.


Cigarette manufacturers are spending a record breaking $9 million to advertise against Measure 50.

The complaint they voice over and over again is that 70 percent of the money won’t go to the Healthy Kids Plan.

Cathy Kaufmann, of the ‘Yes on 50’ campaign calls it an outright lie. She says the truth is that all the money won’t go to the program for the first year, because it takes time to enroll 100,000 kids.

Cathy Kaufmann: “It’s like saying that if you’ve saved money for your kid’s college tuition, but you don’t spend all that money in the first year, you’re saving some money for the third or fourth year of tuition, that somehow that money really isn’t for your child’s tuition.”

Opponents of the measure say the money that is held back has only been earmarked for healthcare, not children’s healthcare. And therefore they stand by their 70 percent claim.

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