Consumer News Release
For immediate release - Monday, April 15, 2002.
Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699.
Tobacco Industry Paying $46 Million to Iowa Tobacco Settlement Authority
DES MOINES. Attorney General Tom Miller said today that the tobacco industry is slated to pay another $46 million to the Iowa Tobacco Settlement Authority under terms of the settlement of lawsuits filed by Miller and other states. Iowa's share of payments made under the settlement over the last couple years then will exceed $186 million.
Miller said 22 percent of the total -- over $10 million -- will go directly to the "Endowment for Iowa's Health Account," which is dedicated to purposes related to preventing and controlling tobacco use, substance abuse treatment and enforcement, health care, and other needs of Iowa children, adults and families.
The 78% remainder will be used principally to pay bondholders who last fall bought bonds issued by the Tobacco Settlement Authority in the aggregate principal amount of $644,245,000. The industry makes settlement payments each year on April 15 and at the end of each year.
The Iowa share of the scheduled April 15 tobacco industry payment is pegged at $46,270,633.86.
"Money from the settlement helps us make a healthier Iowa," Miller said, "including funding our state program to cut youth smoking. I strongly urged lawmakers to dedicate an adequate amount to Iowa's program to reduce tobacco use, addiction, and death, but they cut the funding from $9.3 million to $5 million, a very damaging cut.
"I hope this will be reconsidered if there is a special session. Lawmakers have taken substantial money from the tobacco fund to meet other budget needs. They should appropriate funds directly or borrow from the tobacco fund to be sure we have an effective smoking-health program in Iowa. This program is working," he said.
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