Kentucky lawmakers wrangle details of tobacco settlement

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers are trying to figure out how to enforce the terms of a settlement reached with the nation’s largest tobacco companies.

At stake is about $100 million in state revenue every year that pays for a host of agriculture, public health and early childhood education programs.

A bill before the state Senate would give retailers more time to sell tobacco products from companies that have been banned for not complying with the agreement before having to dump the merchandise. State officials worry the grace period could put the settlement money in jeopardy.

The settlement has a rocky history in Kentucky. A federal arbitrator ruled against the state in 2013, threatening Kentucky’s share. The state settled that dispute last summer for $110 million.

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