A St. Louis judge has boosted the amount of tobacco settlement money Missouri will receive in 2014.
Judge Jimmie Edwards ruled on Friday that an arbitration panel improperly calculated part of a penalty. The penalty was levied against Missouri because it is failing to properly enforce the 1998 settlement between the states and major tobacco companies. The ruling means Missouri should get $110 million, up from $60 million.
In the 50 years since the Surgeon General first reported on the dangers of smoking tobacco, much has been done to effect change. At the time of the first Surgeon General’s Report, 42 percent of American adults smoked. Today, only 18 percent do.
A Words to Live By award goes to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who reportedly advised her fellow Democrats to “embrace the suck” and vote for the budget agreement crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
It seems that liberal colleagues objected to certain provisions of the compromise but Pelosi believed a flawed deal beat no deal at all. Her half-a-loaf-is-better-than-nothing approach was reminiscent of the practicality that once characterized negotiations on Capitol Hill.