LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky has received millions in tobacco settlement money this week.
Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Friday that the Commonwealth received more than $102 million this week as a part of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).
"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 $2.5 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement."
The Attorney General's office along with the Department of Revenue and Office of State Budget Director monitors and enforces MSA's terms. Each state in the agreement determines how the funds are spent. In Kentucky, half of MSA funds must be invested in agricultural diversification.
Under the MSA, the tobacco companies agreed to make annual payments, in perpetuity, worth around $208 billion to states and territories that are a part of the agreement.
Since 1998, tobacco companies have had to compensate states for some of the medical costs associated with tobacco-related illnesses and restrict advertising and marketing of cigarettes in the U.S. The payments are determined by a formula calculated by the number of cigarettes sold each company in the settlement. The three largest cigarette manufacturers, Philip Morris USA, RJ Reynolds and Lorillard pay most of the MSA payment.