Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

IN to lose tobacco settlement money

Indiana is poised to lose more than $60 million it was supposed to get from a landmark tobacco settlement in the 1990s.  That's money intended for health programs across the state.

Forty-six states reached a settlement with the four largest tobacco companies in 1998 that pays out more than $200 billion over 25 years.  Indiana has received nearly $2 billion dollars so far.  More than 40 other tobacco companies have since joined the settlement and part of the settlement requires states to ensure those companies are paying the correct amounts into escrow.  An arbitrator last month ruled Indiana is one of six states that failed to adequately do so. 

The ruling will cost the state nearly half of the $131 million it was supposed to receive next year.  Those are dollars that have helped fund tobacco cessation programs, community health centers and the state’s children’s health insurance program. 

Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary) says Indiana needs to find ways to cover the lost dollars.

“We are constantly thumping our chests that we’ve got two billion dollars in reserves.  Will we dip into that or will there be those drastic cuts?”

The Indiana Attorney General’s office says it will appeal the arbitrator's ruling. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
Related Content