Tobacco Money Question Off November Ballot

Cigarette Tax

Michigan's State Board of Canvassers has taken the controversial tobacco settlement money issue off the November ballot. The question would decide if the money would continue to fund education of be diverted to health issues.

Health care providers and organizations say the money was intended to fund their programs, not education. Almost $300 million is at stake.

Opponents say the statewide petition that led to the ballot initiative was misleading and many people didn't know what they were signing.

The Board's two Republican members voted to take the issue on the ballot. The two Democratic members voted to leave it on. The vote means the question is off the ballot for now, but it will face a court test.

Gov. John Engler is an opponent of the ballot initiative and backers accuse him of using his influence to sway Tuesday's vote.