Glendening said he also will use part of the tobacco settlement -- $8.35 million a year -- to help Maryland tobacco farmers shift "into alternative crops without cutting their purse strings."
The governor noted that tobacco farming in Maryland has been declining. He said 8,000 acres were in tobacco production in Maryland today, compared to 50,000 acres at the end of World War II.
Glendening said $1.5 million a year will be provided to the Maryland Health Care Foundation over the next 10 years to provide health care for the under-insured and the uninsured.
The tobacco settlement takes effect July 1, and the new funds will be budgeted for fiscal year 2001, which begins July 1, 2000. That budget will be submitted to the General Assembly in January.
Several legislative leaders attended yesterday's news conference at which Glendening proposed his spending plan for the tobacco settlement. House Speaker Caspar R. Taylor Jr., an Allegany Democrat said he believes the plan makes a lot of sense for Maryland, and that is likely to garner widespread support within the General Assembly.
"I think the governor is in total sync with the legislature on the appropriate use of the tobacco settlement money," Taylor said. "I don't see any problem with any of these approaches. The broad outline, I think, is terrific."
Glendening said details on how the $700 million devoted to education will be allocated won't be available until this fall.
Three task forces
The governor also announced he is forming three task forces to develop plans related to the use of the tobacco settlement money. Each is to send recommendations to Glendening by Nov. 1.
The Task Force on Tobacco Crop Conversion will be chaired by Jim Voss, former executive director of the Maryland Farm Service Agency, with state Agriculture Secretary Henry A. Virts as vice chairman.
The Task Force to End Smoking in Maryland will be chaired by Dr. Martin P. Wasserman, former secretary of the state's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), with state Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, a Baltimore Democrat, as vice chairman.
The Task Force to Conquer Cancer in Maryland will be chaired by Donna Jacobs, Glendening's deputy chief of staff, with DHMH Secretary Dr. Georges Benjamin as vice chairman.
The state will use funds from the national tobacco lawsuit settlement to devote $100 million a year for 10 years to fight cancer and smoking. Annually, the money will be divided this way, Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced yesterday:
$8.35 million to help Maryland farmers convert tobacco crops.
$30 million for anti-smoking campaigns.
$10 million for anti-addiction programs
$50 million for cancer research.