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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2022 02:29 PM
From: Representative Tim Twardzik
To: All House members
Subject: Improve the Commonwealth’s ability to meet its obligations under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (HB 2689 & HB 2690 – 2021-2022)
Please join me as a co-sponsor of legislation to improve the Commonwealth’s ability to meet its obligations under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement that settled claims by many states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, against the major tobacco manufacturers.

This proposal is designed to carry out the duties of the Commonwealth under a 2018 agreement that settled a long-running dispute about states’ enforcement of escrow and other duties of tobacco manufacturers that were not part of the original 1998 agreement (non-participating manufacturers).

Two bills will be introduced to amend the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Act (Act 54 of 2000) and the Tobacco Product Manufacturer Directory Act (Act 64 of 2003) to do the following:
  • Enable the Commonwealth to ensure the deposit of the required escrow payment on contraband cigarettes produced by non-participating manufacturers.
  • Improve the enforcement of the existing escrow deposit requirements for non-participating manufacturers by requiring them to post a surety bond, which is necessary to protect against the non-participating manufacturers’ failure to make the required escrow payments under Act 54 of 2000.
  • Establish that importers have joint and several liability with manufacturers to comply with the requirements of Act 54 of 2000 and Act 64 of 2003.
  • Provide for the exchange of information between the states, the participating manufacturers, and the data clearinghouse under Act 64 of 2003, which is necessary for all parties to the 2018 agreement to ensure compliance.
Enacting these provisions in statute is critical to ensuring that the Commonwealth continues to receive the full amount that it is due under 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, which is used to fund critical health-related programs.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1209