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Minutes for the Presidentís Commission on Improving Economic Opportunity in Communities Dependent on Tobacco Production While Protecting Public Health (The Tobacco Commission) Public Meeting.

Date of Meeting: April 6, 2001
Time of Meeting: 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M.
Place of Meeting: 3101 L. Street, NW
  Room 303A
  Washington, DC
   
Commission members and staff attending the meeting:
   
  Matthew Myers - Co-Chair
  William "Rod" Kuegel - Co-Chair
  LynnCarol Birgmann - Member
  James T. Hill, Jr. - Member
  Andrew Q. Shepherd - Member
  Ronald G. Sroufe - Member
  John R. Seffrin - Member
  Jesse L. White - Member
  Cass Wheeler - Member
  Doug Richardson - Executive Director
  Eloise Taylor - Staff Assistant

A. Opening

The meeting was opened by the co-chairs, Matthew Myers and William "Rod" Kuegel. The purpose of the meeting was to make plans for issuing the Final Report. This meeting was not open to the public, any decisions made during this meeting will be ratified at the next public meeting.

B. Minutes

The minutes from the March 20, 2001, meeting were reviewed and unanimously approved by the Commission. The Commission directed that the minutes be posted to the Commissionís website.

C. Discuss Unresolved Issues in Report from Grower Sub-Committee

The grower sub-committee recommended the following:

that growers who receive $4.00 per pound to discontinue production of tobacco would also agree never to produce tobacco again.

clarified that no undermarketing credit would be permitted.

added a provision addressing carryover tobacco in that such tobacco could be destroyed or the grower could receive a one-year temporary permit to market the tobacco with TERP compensation being reduced for the value of the carryover tobacco.

clarification on the wording regarding unfair trade policies and export polices.

creation of a Tobacco Grower Advisory Board to advise USDA, EPA, FDA, US Trade Representativesís Office and other federal departments and agencies regarding federal regulations affecting tobacco related issues.

that representatives of the kinds of tobacco other than burley and flue-cured tobacco be contacted to determine if these kinds of tobacco wanted to participate in the TERP.

The Commission reviewed new cost projections prepared by Tom Capehart concerning the payout years and funding levels for TERP.

D. Discuss Alternative Approach to TERP and Health Funding Implementation

The health sub-committee recommended that small quota owners (basic quota of 1,000 pounds or less) receive all of their TERP compensation in the first year of the program.

The Commission again stressed that the TERP be implemented through a non-revocable agreement between the quota owners and growers and the federal government.

E. Discussion of Funding

The sub-committee discussed funding for health related programs for the 5 year period after TERP compensation was completed. It was decided that the sub-committee would further refine their recommendation for presentation at a subsequent meeting.

F. Discuss and Finalize Report from Health Sub-Committee - FDA Tobacco Authority

The sub-committee presented it recommendation for the FDA regulation of tobacco products and several changes were suggested by Commission members. After further discussion, it was determined that the sub-committee would revise its recommendation based on the discussion and present its revised recommendations at a subsequent meeting.

G. Review of Final Draft of Final Report

The Commission reviewed the first draft of the Final Report and gave general comments and suggestion to the writer, Deanne Kloepfer, on style and preliminary content.

H. Final Report Roll-Out Plans

Staff reported that a federal register notices was in the clearance process announcing two public briefings - one in Raleigh, NC on May 14 and one in Louisville, KY on May 15 to inform the public on the recommendations in the Final Report.

I. Schedule Public Meeting

The Commission concluded that one more public meeting was needed to finalize the recommendations to be included in the Final Report and directed the Staff to schedule the meeting for May 4, 2001, from 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM in Washington, DC.

J. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned by William "Rod" Kuegel at 3:00 P.M.

K. Approval

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