Oklahoma receives $78 million payment from tobacco companies - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Oklahoma receives $78 million payment from tobacco companies

Cutting down on smoking or quitting completely is often a goal for the new year. (Source KSWO) Cutting down on smoking or quitting completely is often a goal for the new year. (Source KSWO)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma has received a $78 payment million 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.

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