A Tobacco Trust Fund would be created under a bill approved by the House. But it is much different than the Senate proposal. The bill has been weighted down by amendments numbering in the double-digits, few having anything to do with creating a fund to capture the billions coming to the state from the settlement with Big Tobacco. Sponsor Tim Van Zandt of Kansas City reads one of his favorites, an amendment providing money to fight teeth stained by tobacco. Others include money for tobacco farmers, cancer treatment, even St. Louis roads. Representative Jon Bennett of St. Charles says he thought the lawsuit was filed for a specific purpose, to treat tobacco-related disease and fund anti-smoking programs. The sponsor has stated he sees no merit in any of the amendments and has promised to strip them off during conference committee with the Senate.
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