The Henderson County Commissioners accepted funds Tuesday made available through a 1998 settlement between the state and tobacco companies.
Jessica Brown, who coordinates grants for the county, said the total for 2022 is $116,780.29. She said the amount the county gets is the yearly cost of indigent health care.
Henderson County reported $6,630,182.34 in unreimbursed indigent health care expenses last year.
The comptroller manages and oversees the fund, with the guidance of the 11-member Tobacco Settlement Permanent Trust Account Investment Advisory Committee.
Once the money is distributed, there are no restrictions on how the money is used, according to the Comptroller’s Office. However, since most of the money is paid directly to hospitals and hospital districts, most of the funds are used for health care.
Distribution of the tobacco settlement funds figured prominently in a lawsuit involving Henderson County and East Texas Medical Center settled about 15 years ago. Under the terms of the settlement, the hospital system agreed to continue to provide the county with the report of its indigent health care costs that is used each year in its annual application for the settlement proceeds. When the tobacco fund allocation is received, the county can use it to pay indigent health care costs. The remaining balance goes to the hospital.
In the years immediately after the settlement the allocations were larger than they are today. In 2005, the county received $735,554.78.
In other Tuesday action, Commissioners approved:
a contract for Professional Services between Henderson County and Allison,
Bass & Magee LLP for assistance with issues regarding the Subdivision Rules and Regulations;
• authorizing Elections Administrator Paula Ludke to place and an employee in Step 3 on the Step Pay Plan;
• a refund request for overpayment of taxes for the Henderson County Tax Office;
• assistance from Henderson County Precinct 1 with City of Caney City, for “Labor and Equipment Use Only” to help with various road improvements and
• payment of bills totaling $217,134.34.