Industry & TETAF News

Call to Action: Depletion of the Tobacco Fund

TETAF is calling on all Regional Advisory Councils and their supporters to reach out to the Texas Senate Finance Committee and the Legislative Budget Board to emphasize the importance of finding level funding for the RACs to replace what was lost due to depletion of the tobacco fund!

In 2011, the $100 million corpus of the Permanent Tobacco Fund for EMS and Trauma Care was opened to provide funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). This fund was intended to provide a permanent, stable funding source for the state’s trauma system, but has now over the course of just a few years been completely depleted.

This fund served as the primary source of state dollars for the 22 Regional Advisory Councils and although appropriators indicated level funding would be allocated to the RACs this year, actual distributions through The Department of State Health Services have declined dramatically.

Previously, approximately $2.4 million was divided between the 22 RACs annually. For fiscal year 2018, those distributions have declined by more than 25%, a significant $640,000. Many rural areas were hit especially hard by these unexpected cuts, losing more than 40% of their funding. Even more alarming, DSHS has indicated that there may be no funding for the RACs from this account, or general revenue, for FY 2019.

This important issue was addressed at the January 30 Senate Finance Committee hearing and has begun to gain momentum at the Capitol. Let's keep this issue front and center for lawmakers!


Senate Finance Committee

Chair Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)

Vice Chair Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen)

Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)

Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)

Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)

Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston)

Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)

Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville)

Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown)

Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo)

Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)

Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio)

Senator Kirk Watson (R-Austin)

Senator Royce West (D-Dallas)

Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston)


Legislative Budget Board

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (Houston/Statewide Elected Official)

Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio)

Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)

Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston)

Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)

Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)

Representative Drew Darby (R-San Angelo)

Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton)

Representative John Zerwas (R-Katy)


You can find contact information for all lawmakers online at:



Please contact Courtney DeBower for more information.

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