Group Fights Tobacco Appeal

By  | 

The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi is challenging Gov. Haley Barbour's appeal of a court ruling in the fight over the state's tobacco settlement.

The private, nonprofit anti-smoking group was founded by former Attorney General Mike Moore after he successfully sued tobacco companies to recoup the state's health expenses from smoking.

The original settlement with tobacco companies requires cessation and prevention programs. In 2000, a Jackson County court ordered that $20 million of the state's tobacco payments go to the Partnership every year.

The governor, the Division of Medicaid and the state treasurer's office have challenged the payments, saying they're unconstitutional.

In May, a Jackson County judge ordered the challenge postponed for one year so the Legislature can hold hearings and study the issue.

Barbour and the other groups have asked the state Supreme Court to step in and overturn the judge's postponement, but the Partnership says the high court has never allowed an appeal of a lower court's continuance order.