TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced April 20 that the state received $62 million in its annual tobacco settlement payout.
In a press release, Schmidt noted that the future Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments will see a drop in revenue for the state. This year’s payment marks the end of Strategic Contribution Fund payments made under the original MSA. Schmidt stated that it is impossible at this time, though, to predict how much of a reduction will take place in the coming years.
The reason for this, Schmidt said, is that the tobacco companies involved in the MSA have placed a portion of their annual payments in a “disputed payment account” rather than sending them directly to the state. They have not accused Kansas of failing to uphold obligations under the MSA, so it is impossible to predict whether the funds will continue to be withheld.
Schmidt also announced that Kansas Legislature reached compacts with two resident Native American tribes in Kansas; these compacts should strengthen tobacco enforcement on tribal lands. Additionally, the compacts will help Kansas improve its enforcement of MSA obligations.