Call to Order and Roll Call
The meeting of the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee was held on Friday, August 6, 2010, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Dottie Sims, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Carroll Gibson, Co-Chair; Representative Dottie Sims, Co-Chair; Senators David E. Boswell and Damon Thayer; Representatives Royce W. Adams, James R. Comer Jr., Charlie Hoffman, Tom McKee, and Tommy Turner.
Guests: Roger Thomas, Joel Neaveill, and Bill McCloskey, Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy; Irene Centers, Bobbye Gray, Dennis Peyton, Mark Sizemore, Department for Public Health; Van Ingram, Amy Andrews, Heather Wainscott, Office of Drug Control Policy; Rose Johnson, Derrick Johnson, Staci Nurse, and Emily Johnson.
Minutes of the July 7 meeting were approved by voice vote and without objection on a motion made by Senator Boswell and seconded by Chairman Gibson.
At the outset of the meeting, the committee adopted a resolution memorializing and honoring the late Janet Lynn (Coleman) Harris, the wife of Senator Ernie Harris.
Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Report
Mr. Roger Thomas, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP), Mr. Joel Neaveill, GOAP Chief of Staff, and Mr. Bill McCloskey, Director of Financial Services, reported on the actions of the Agricultural Development Board (ADB) at its July meeting. Mr. Thomas noted that Mr. McCloskey would be taking on additional duties with the agency following the recent departure of Michael Judge.
After a short report on the County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP) and other programs, Mr. Thomas briefed the committee on a World Health Organization proposal to ban certain distinctively flavored ingredients in tobacco products. It has been pointed out the WHO guidelines would eliminate the entire category of traditional American blend tobacco that contain burley tobacco. Contending the proposal would have an adverse effect on burley farmers, Mr. Thomas indicated the Governor has sent a letter to an official in Norway, a country that has taken the lead in pushing for the tobacco regulation, and Agricultural Commissioner Richie Farmer has issued a press release on the issue.
During discussion, Mr. Thomas indicated to Senator Boswell that the proposal should not affect burley tobacco used in research, rather the type of leaf used in manufacturing cigarettes.
Following that initial discussion, the committee, acting on a motion by Representative Hoffman, went on record in asking WHO to exempt burley tobacco from the proposal.
In subsequent comments, Representative McKee pointed out that burley tobacco can be seen growing now in parts of central Kentucky. He indicated that singling out burley does little to help anyone.
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Report
Ms. Irene Centers, Program Manager, appeared before the committee to report on the activities of her agency in utilizing tobacco settlement funds. She reviewed agency budget figures for FY 2010 and FY 2011, smoking rate data, agency anti-smoking activities, other programs aimed at reducing tobacco use, and profiled the activities of the Barren River District Health Department.
Ms. Centers responded to questions from Senator Gibson in two instances during the meeting. In initial responses, she told the committee Co-chair that the agency reduced its FY 2010 budget by $230,000 by monitoring internal expenses. According to Ms. Centers, they dealt with a second budget reduction late in the fiscal year, which would have affected funding to health departments, by using some federal grant funds. She also said a carry-over should help maintain funding levels at local departments in early FY 2011. Later in the meeting, Ms. Centers reviewed the agency’s main funding sources for the fiscal year -- Master Settlement Agreement funds, federal grant funds, and a federal stimulus grant. She indicated the federal stimulus grant funds are specific regarding how they can be used.
Responding to Representative Adams, who asked how cessation funds are divided between adults and young people, Ms. Centers indicated that about $2.27 million is allocated to health departments, which, in turn aim much of their anti-tobacco work at youth prevention and community based activities.
She told Representative McKee that adult smoking rates in Kentucky stand at to 25-26 percent. She predicted the rates will be comparable in 2010. She said youth smoking rates have been declining, with the current rate for middle school students in Kentucky at 9.7 percent. She stressed the role of legislators, who can have an impact on school curricula and also stand as role models for young people.
Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Program Report
Three officials with the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (KY-ASAP) appeared to brief the committee on that agency’s use of MSA funds. Speaking to the committee was: Mr. Van Ingram, Executive Director, Office of Drug Control Policy, Ms. Amy Andrews, KY-ASAP State Coordinator, and Ms. Heather Wainscott, Branch Manager, Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP).
In initial remarks, Mr. Ingram indicated that KY-ASAP also was required to reduce its budget in the last fiscal year. Because funds were committed to local boards when the budget reductions were initiated, KY-ASAP met the shortfall by using some ODCP funds and some carry-over moneys, according to Mr. Ingram. In subsequent remarks, Ms. Andrews noted that while local, single-county boards received grants of only $15,600, they are able to raise local funds for substance abuse efforts. In her remarks, Ms. Wainscott pinpointed some individual efforts, such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free Kentucky.
Responding to Senator Gibson, Ms. Andrews outlined how local boards are to be structured. Senator Gibson stressed the need to include as many youth on the local boards as possible. In response, Ms. Andrews gave some examples of regional and county programs that attempt to place attention on under age alcohol and drug use.
In responses to Representative Adams, they stressed that the $128,800 given to the Northern Kentucky board is spent evenly in all eight counties, even though some counties are more populous than others.
Responding to Co-chair Sims, Mr. Ingram, a former law enforcement officer, indicated that drug use is constantly evolving. Currently, he said, prescription drug abuse is a problem among young people. He said one in five young people have admitted using prescription drugs not prescribed to them. He noted a positive aspect KY-ASAP is that it allows local boards to generally attack problems at the community level.
Mr. Ingram responded to Co-chair Sims that people tend to establish their own journey into drug use.
Documents distributed during the committee meeting are available with meeting materials in the LRC Library.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 11:30 a.m.