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October 25, 2000
Berkman announced his budget recommendation (FY2001), for the $5.8 Million tobacco settlement proceeds.
Middletown, NY - Jeffrey D. Berkman, representing Middletown and Wallkill (20th District), announced his budget recommendation (FY2001), for the $5.8 Million tobacco settlement proceeds before the Finance Committee of the Orange County Legislature.
Legislator Berkman's proposal, summarized below, changes and improves the County Executive's plan by targeting all tobacco settlement expenditures solely toward programs that will improve the health of the people of Orange County and create a lock box reserve for future public health concerns.
Berkman said, "The tobacco settlement money is payment for those members of our families and our friends, who have paid the price of ill health due to smoking. Most importantly, we must help people who have fallen prey to this deadly addiction. We have a moral obligation to spend this money wisely. We must invest in programs, which will improve the health and well being of the people of Orange County. Clearly, the County Executive's plan does not go far enough in addressing significant health issues. In fact, his plan, calls for spending over $300,000 on non-health related items, which should be funded from other sources. Additionally, he omits any reference or plan for $1.4 Million of tobacco settlement proceeds."
Berkman's initiative calls for doubling funding for programs that help pregnant women and our youth. Other preventative and tobacco education programs have also been substantially augmented. The plan increases spending for parks and libraries as well as putting $1Million in a locked box reserve for future Orange County health concerns.
Berkman stressed, "There is a clear and immediate need to expand public health awareness. It is incumbent upon us to use the opportunity presented by this hard won tobacco settlement and act in the best interests of the people of Orange County. We must create an effective and comprehensive tobacco prevention and control plan. We must provide for Public Health Educators to work with all segments of our communities and all county school systems."
Berkman went on to say, "It is our fundamental responsibility to work to improve public health. It is fiscally prudent to lock a portion of this money away for future health concerns."
content © 2000-2002 Jeffrey Berkman
(except where indicated)
Orange County Legislature
PO Box 787
Middletown, New York 10940
fax: (845) 343-9158
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