TEMSA members recently received notification from their RACs that the tobacco fund used for RACs may be jeopardized. For now, the tobacco funding is in a holding pattern due to several factors, including the merger of several processes regarding contracting within DSHS and HHSC and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas’ (CPRIT) use of tobacco the fund principal.
They may not be ready for the state’s September 1, 2015 fiscal year start date. If the funds are not available, emergency funding may be required. If your RAC is having funding issues during this delay, ask them to contact DSHS EMS and Trauma staff.
The tobacco fund’s principal, which started at $100 milllion after the settlement in the 1990s, has decreased to approximately $21 million due to the allocated funds being utilized by CPRIT to secure bond funds for new facilities. Therefore, finding an alternative funding source for RACs will be an important issue in the 2017 Texas Legislature.