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Letter to the Editor: Reader questions credibility of report regarding Measure 3

Dear Editor:

Upon reading and re-reading the District 13 Legislative Report by your senator, Judy Lee, I'm compelled to respond with some truths that seemed to be missing from her report. These truths are all about the legislative grab for the money in the Measure 3 program that works to fight the devastating cost of tobacco in our state.

In case you've been out of town, this bill (HB1353) would take money from Measure 3 and give it to UND to build a new medical school to create doctors to treat tobacco-related illness.

The first truth is, we need both of these programs, just not at the expense of each other. The rest of the truths come from Judy Lee herself, the sponsor of HB1353. Her strong, negative feelings about the Tobacco Prevention and Advisory Committee are very well known and she continues to shout out to people that the ballot defining Measure 3 was poorly worded (people were too stupid to know what they were voting for); she wonders where all the money is being spent (it's spent on tobacco prevention programs); the Advisory Committee has no accountability (they are the most transparent and accountable group in the state - all you have to do is ask); the money is spent by three individuals who were not elected and who are not accountable to anyone (actually, they are experts in the field of tobacco prevention as opposed to legislators that can even be married to tobacco company lobbyists.)

She likes to quote a Risky Behavior study and budget and says that lots of money is going to this area: none of that budget goes to tobacco programs!

All in all, please use your own intelligence when considering Judy Lee's guidance in this area. She is angry, she is wrong and she purposely misleads.

Jay Taylor

Durbin, N.D.