Statements FOR the proposed amendment
- Placing 80 percent of tobacco settlement money in a constitutional, permanent endowment fund will protect the settlement money from transfer to the General Fund in years of financial difficulty, while still allowing a fixed amount to be distributed and spent each year.
- The creation of a permanent endowment fund will provide the State Treasurer with the opportunity to make long-term investments, at higher rates of return, with Idaho's tobacco settlement money.
- Greater return on the long-term investment of money in the permanent endowment fund will result in more money being available for purposes such as tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and for relief to counties for the cost of caring for indigent persons with tobacco-related illnesses.
Statements AGAINST the proposed amendment
- The proposed amendment is unnecessary because an existing law already provides for a fund into which Idaho's tobacco settlement money is deposited, and the amount of the distribution of money from a permanent fund should not be fixed in the Idaho State Constitution.
- The Idaho State Constitution is a legal blueprint for government in Idaho and a historical document that should not be changed for relatively minor matters, which can best be managed administratively. Changes to the Constitution should be made only for major issues of interest to the entire state or in the event of a constitutional crisis.
- Protection of the tobacco settlement money from transfer to the General Fund in years of financial difficulty for the purpose of balancing the budget can be addressed through governmental constraint rather than a constitutional amendment.