Judge Postpones Ruling On Tobacco Lawsuit Until Study Completed - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/24/05

Judge Postpones Ruling On Tobacco Lawsuit Until Study Completed

A Jackson County judge on Tuesday postponed proceedings in a lawsuit over funding from the state's tobacco settlement.

Judge Jaye Bradley says she will await a legislative study before issuing a final ruling on the $20 million in annual funding to the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood represents the Partnership. He says he liked what he heard in court.

"It's just a common sense, practical approach to allow the legislature in a public forum in front of everybody to debate these issues, then come back and give a recommendation to the court."

The founder of the Partnership, Mike Moore, agrees, but says there's no real debate.

"This program started with support from the legislature. I went to the legislature as Attorney General and asked them to help create this with me. Asked them if they wanted a court order or by legislation and they said the best way to do this is by court order."

"The speaker of the house and the Lt. governor are both on record saying, 'We support the partnership. We support the program,'" Moore adds.

Moore believes the legislature will leave the Partnership funds alone, because of what he calls the group's record of success in getting Mississippi kids to kick the habit.

By Jaimee Goad

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