Tobacco settlement (read: anti-Dosal) bill refiled

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A bill that would require more cigarette makers to pay the state as part of its settlement with tobacco companies was filed on Thursday.

The measure, which has been pushed unsuccessfully for several years, is sponsored by Sen. Thad Altman. The bill (SB 252), would hit one company in particular: Miami-based Dosal wasn’t part of Florida’s 1997 settlement with the cigarette industry that provided billions of dollars for the state. Backers of adding the non-settling companies say they sell low-ppriced cigarettes that undercut the major cigarette makers, which do pay into the settlement. Those big companies are among the supporters of the legislation, arguing it’s an unfair competitive landscape.

Dosal has argued in the past that it was not part of deceptive trade practices that prompted the state to sue big tobacco companies and therefore should not have to pay.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.