The N.C. House’s version of the state budget proposes to permanently eliminate the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, putting that money into the General Fund to help cover the budget shortfall. Since 2001, the Tobacco Trust Fund has received an annual appropriation of several million dollars from the General Assembly. These funds were awarded to the state under the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (in the current version of the House budget, these moneys are called Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Funds). Now that this has become a hot topic in the budget debate, some have been wondering what the Tobacco Trust Fund actually does for small farmers and local, healthy food. The name of the fund doesn’t describe the breadth of work it supports. -Roland McReynolds, Mountain Xpress, May 16, 2011. (Read more).