The Golden LEAF Foundation was created in 1999 as a non-profit foundation to receive one-half of the funds coming to North Carolina from the master settlement agreement with cigarette manufacturers and distribute the funds to help areas that were heavily tobacco income dependent. The Foundation is supposed to help North Carolinians make the transition from a tobacco-dependent economy through grants and investments that would positively affect the long-term economic advancement of the state.
News and Observer
March 30, 2007
Jerry Allegood, Staff Writer
Control of tobacco millions may shift
Bill would kill LEAF Foundation
More than half the state Senate has endorsed legislation that would abolish the Golden LEAF Foundation, which distributes millions of dollars from the state's settlement with tobacco companies.
The legislation, introduced Monday by Sen. Clark Jenkins, D-Edgecombe, would direct money now disbursed by Golden LEAF into a trust fund to benefit "tobacco-dependent communities." That money -- now about $600 million -- would be distributed by the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, a private not-for-profit organization that works with rural areas.
Jenkins said the legislation was prompted by complaints that Golden LEAF was not doing enough to help counties hurt by the loss of tobacco production. He said many projects were approved in areas, including western counties, that did not rely on tobacco. Read more...