TOPEKA, Kansas (Legal Newsline) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has praised the Kansas Legislature for approving two compacts seeking to increase cooperation with Native American tribes on accounting for tobacco sales on tribal lands.

“I appreciate the legislature’s quick action to consider and unanimously approve these compacts,” Schmidt said. “As a result of this action, we will significantly improve cooperation between the tribes and the state to prevent the illicit shipment of un-taxed and unaccounted-for cigarettes in Kansas, strengthening our ability to comply with the terms of the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.”

The Senate and House unanimously advanced the two compacts, one with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and one with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.

Under the landmark 1998 tobacco settlement that became known as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), most tobacco companies agreed to make annual payments to the state. Kansas, for its part, agreed to account for cigarette sales within state borders. To strengthen its efforts, Kansas needed to reach a compact with the tribes, since they had sovereign rights to the land.

“I appreciate the willingness of the tribes to work cooperatively with the state to craft agreements that are mutually beneficial,” Schmidt said.

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