Oklahoma receives $78 million payment from tobacco companies
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma has received a $78 million payment from the tobacco industry as part of a 1999 settlement of a lawsuit against tobacco companies.
State Treasurer Ken Miller said Friday that 75 percent of the payment, or $58.5 million, went to the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund for investment.
The rest is split between the Legislature for health care-related appropriations and the attorney general, who enforces the settlement.
The fund was created in 2000 when voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing only earnings from the fund to be spent to improve the health of Oklahomans, particularly children and senior adults.
Miller says the fund totals $1.1 billion.
Oklahoma was among many states that sued tobacco companies but is the only state with a constitutionally protected fund for investment of settlement payments.