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Medical Associations Disappointed In New Tobacco Tax Money Spending Plan

File / Charles Rex Arbogast /AP
 

File / Charles Rex Arbogast /AP

California’s top medical and dental associations say they’re disappointed in Governor Jerry Brown’s plans for how to spend new state tobacco tax money.

Francisco Silva of the California Medical Association says his group backed Proposition 56, in part, because it proposed raising rates for doctors who serve Medi-Cal patients.

Now, he says, Brown is not following what the ballot measure promised.

“The plain language of the proposition made it very clear that the new tobacco tax revenues had to be used to supplement, not supplant current state sources for increased payments,” says Silva.

A spokesman for Brown's finance department says the governor’s budget proposal commits $1.2 billion in revenue from Proposition 56 to pay for Medi-Cal.

But, he says, the details of how that money is ultimately spent will be worked out through discussions in coming months between the governor’s office and the Legislature.