Court declines to overturn government’s use of tobacco funds

HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s highest court says a lawsuit over the use of tobacco settlement money to balance the state budget was brought by people who didn’t have standing.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled unanimously for the governor and legislative leaders and against those who wanted the tobacco money used for two health care related programs.

The decision involves whether the state’s revenues from a landmark 1998 settlement with tobacco companies had to go to adultBasic and Medicaid for disabled workers.

A lawyer for the legislative leaders says he thinks the court got it right by deciding the case based upon the plain terms of the state’s 2001 Tobacco Settlement Act. That law says subsidization of adultBasic was not guaranteed.

Then-Gov. Tom Corbett shut down adultBasic shortly after taking office in 2011.

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