ARKANSAS AG ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH TOBACCO COMPANIES

     (The following press release from the Arkansas Attorney General's Office 
was received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the statement.) 
MCDANIEL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH TOBACCO COMPANIES 
Settlement ends long-running dispute over funds intended for State 
LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that an 
arbitration panel has issued a ruling that will allow a settlement to proceed 
between Arkansas and the tobacco companies that signed the Master Settlement 
Agreement. The settlement ends a long-running dispute and restores certainty to 
the State’s annual payments from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. 
In the agreement, Arkansas will receive its share of more than half of the 
money that has been held in escrow for nearly a decade as the dispute was 
ongoing. 
The tobacco companies argued that Arkansas and certain other states had 
violated the Master Settlement Agreement by failing to diligently enforce state 
tobacco laws. The state disagreed with the assertion. 
“The tobacco companies’ challenge could have jeopardized the entire annual 
payments that the state receives, and with them, the important anti-smoking and 
public health efforts paid for by these funds,” McDaniel said. “This settlement 
assures that we no longer face that risk. This year, the state’s annual payment 
will increase to its rightful amount for the first time in nearly a decade. In 
addition, the state will receive more than half of the disputed funds. This 
resolution allows us to move forward with certainty in regard to these vital 
health programs.” 
Arkansas will receive the entire amount of settlement money that has been held 
in escrow, with the 2013 payment to be boosted by approximately $22.7 million. 
The state receives 54 cents of every dollar of the disputed payment amount, 
under the agreement. The tobacco companies take the rest as credits on future 
payments. It is possible that the state’s share will increase if other states 
join in the agreement. 
Under terms of the MSA, Arkansas receives approximately $60 million per year. 
McDaniel led the effort to reach the settlement, which was joined by 16 other 
states, including California, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto 
Rico. 
McDaniel served as co-chairman of the Tobacco Committee of the National 
Association of Attorneys General from 2010 to 2012, and he said he sees this 
settlement as "one of the most significant accomplishments of my entire service 
as Attorney General." 
(rml) NY
 
 
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