AG: State receives $93M in tobacco settlement money
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky received over $93 million dollars in tobacco settlement money this week, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Since 1998, tobacco companies have had to compensate states for some of the medical costs associated with tobacco-related illnesses as part of what’s called the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA.) Under the MSA, tobacco companies agreed to make annual payments, in perpetuity, worth approximately $208 billion to states and territories that are signatories to the agreement.
“For nearly 20 years the landmark Master Settlement Agreement has made a positive impact on the Commonwealth, supporting early childhood education, health programs, cancer research, and helping to aid our farmers and create sustainable farm-based businesses,” Beshear said. “Since the first payment in 1999, Kentucky has collected over $2 billion under the agreement, and is on pace to collect nearly $3 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement.”
Each state determines how the MSA funds are distributed and spent. In Kentucky, the General Assembly has designated half of the MSA funds be invested in agricultural diversification through grants issued by the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy, which administers the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund.