Consumer News Release
For immediate release -- Friday, November 12, 1999.
Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699
Miller: Green Light for Tobacco Payments to States
Iowa's first $21 million to arrive in three or four weeks, and another $55 million early next year.
DES MOINES-- Attorney General Tom Miller said the way has been cleared for the first payment of $20.9 million to the State of Iowa by the tobacco industry.
"We expect to receive the first payment in three or four weeks instead of next summer," Miller said. "Then Iowa will receive another $55.8 million early next year. We knew we would receive this first $76 million no later than June 2000, but now the way is cleared for payments to start right away."
Miller said the Commonwealth of Virginia formally concluded its lawsuit today, giving the green light for tobacco payments to begin. Payments to states were set to begin when the threshold was reached of final action by 80% of the states representing 80% of the Medicaid total allotment, but no later than June 30, 2000. Virginia's action means payments can begin now. (Iowa's lawsuit was concluded last January; the settlement between the tobacco industry and the States was reached Nov. 23, 1998.)
The tobacco industry will pay Iowa over $1.938 BILLION by the year 2025, and similar payments will continue indefinitely at the rate of $60-70 million per year (adjusted for inflation.) The State Legislature will determine how the funds will be spent.
Miller has proposed that Iowa spend about $20.5 million of Iowa's first $76 million to reduce youth addiction and Iowa's toll of 5,000 deaths a year from tobacco-related disease. Miller says other states already are proving that a sustained and comprehensive approach can significantly reduce the toll of tobacco disease, addiction, and death.
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