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July 10, 2015

Contact: Sam Mahood
(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Statute. 

SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla today announced the proponents of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

CIGARETTE TAX TO FUND HEALTHCARE, TOBACCO USE PREVENTION, RESEARCH, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products. Allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for existing healthcare programs and services; also for tobacco use prevention and control programs, for tobacco-related disease research, for state and local agencies to enhance tobacco law enforcement, for University of California to train more physicians, and for administrative expenses. If tax causes decreased tobacco consumption, transfers tax revenues to offset decreases to existing tobacco-funded programs and sales tax revenues. Requires biennial independent audit/accounting. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net increase in excise tax revenues in the range of $1 billion to $1.3 billion annually by 2017-18, with revenues decreasing slightly in subsequent years. The funds would be used for health care expenses, tobacco-related prevention and cessation programs, law enforcement programs, and medical research on tobacco-related diseases. (15-0030.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1692 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 15-0030. 

The proponents for the measure, Laphonza Butler, Kimberly Amazeen and Dustin Corcoran, must collect signatures of 365,880 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot. The proponents have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by January 5, 2016.  The proponents can be reached at (916) 442-2952.