State Treasurer Tate Reeves’ statement on today’s PFHM hearing before the Mississippi Supreme Court

“Our contention today before the Supreme Court is consistent with what we have said for the last two years. The proceeds from the tobacco settlement were illegally and unconstitutionally diverted to a private entity with no accountability. When I was elected treasurer, I promised Mississippians that I would serve as a ?watchdog’ for the taxpayers. Ensuring there is proper oversight and accountability for these funds is one of many steps I have taken to keep that promise.

The Mississippi Legislature recognized the illegality of the Partnership funding this weekend when both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly voted to create a legal tobacco cessation program in the Department of Health by passing S.B. 2764. In fact, it seems that the Attorney General is one of the few people in the state that hasn’t recognized this diversion is illegal and unconstitutional.

I fully support the need to educate Mississippi children on the devastating impact that is caused by tobacco use, but we must do that in a manner that is constitutional and ensures accountability and oversight for the distribution of those funds.”