Kansas has received its annual tobacco settlement payment totaling $61.3 million.
As it does each year, the annual payment will reimburse the state for funds previously appropriated by the Legislature to pay the current fiscal year’s cost of programs financed from tobacco settlement proceeds.
Because of the timing of the annual tobacco payment in comparison with the state budget cycle, the Legislature each year appropriates funds that will not be received until the following April, and then reimburses that amount when the annual payment is received.
Since the first payment was made in 1999, Kansas has received more than $1.36 billion from the participating tobacco manufacturers.
The settlement payments were intended to offset the costs of tobacco-related illness that are borne by Kansas taxpayers through government-paid medical benefits, but that’s not how they are used.
The Legislature determined years ago that most of the annual settlement payments would be used to pay for various children’s programs.