Tobacco settlement eyed by Senate

Senate Democrats have proposed dipping into Washington’s tobacco settlement funds in lieu of a general tax increase to offset a $1.6 billion budget gap.
Under the plan, the state would sell its rights for up to 25 percent of future annual payments under the settlement in order to receive a lump sum of $525 million.
Most of the money would go directly into the general fund.
Senate Majority Leader Sid Snyder, D-Long Beach, and Senate Budge Committee Chairwoman Lisa Brown, D-Soprano, praised the plan as sound use of the tobacco settlement money, but they acknowledged it was driven by the House of Representatives’ strong against new taxes.