Tobacco and the Budget. Or Not.
WJAR-TV (NBC 10) is reporting that…
Attorney General Patrick Lynch said Monday that he won’t sign off on the General Assembly’s plan to use tobacco settlement money to close the state’s budget deficit.(h/t Dan Yorke)
WPRO’s Colleen Lima reporting that AG Lynch hasn’t quite said he won’t go along; he’s said he has until 3 pm tomorrow to provide his required sign-off, and has not yet reviewed the legislature’s plan to his satisfaction.
AG Lynch on with Dan Yorke. If the state does not meet certain requirements that come with the tobacco money, the state might lose some or all of it.
Yorke asks Lynch what the odds are that he won’t sign off. Lynch answers “I don’t gamble”.
Because of developments in other states, Rhode Island’s chances of ever seeing money from the lead paint settlement have become 50/50 at best. If over the next year or two, Patrick Lynch becomes the Attorney General who lost both the lead paint money and the tobacco money (even though “lost” wouldn’t be a fair characterization in the lead paint case, but we’re talking about perceptions here), his chances at winning elective office in 2010 would be nil. So he’s going over the tobacco agreement with a fine-tooth comb, to make sure nothing that the General Assembly is proposing allows the tobacco companies to back out of the deal.