(The Center Square) – Iowa is receiving an additional $171 million from tobacco manufacturers, settling a long-running dispute over how much the state should receive each year.
The state will receive about $136 million in additional payments in April 2024 and the rest annually from 2025 to 2029, according to a news release from Attorney General Brenna Bird.
State law requires that 78% of the payments go to the paying down bond debt, according to the attorney general. The remaining money goes to the State Treasury’s Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.
Former attorney general Tom Miller sued large tobacco companies last year over what he called delays and challenges to payments, according to a report from Siouxland Proud. At that time, Miller said Iowa collected $1.4 billion since the 1998 settlement between 17 large tobacco companies and the states.
The settlement money covers states’ health care costs related to tobacco use.
Iowa is the 38th state to settle, according to Bird.
“It was time to stop wasting public resources on a never-ending fight that only benefits the lawyers,” Bird said. “This is a good deal for Iowa taxpayers, getting us the $136 million we are owed now instead of staying tied up in litigation for decades.”