TOPEKA (KSNT) – The state of Kansas has received its annual tobacco settlement payment according to the Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

This year’s payment totaled $61,332,864.66 and is meant to reimburse the state for funds previously appropriated by the Legislature to pay the currently year’s cost of programs financed from tobacco settlement proceeds. The state Legislature appropriates funds that will not be received until the following April and then reimburses that amount when the annual payment is received due to the timing of the annual settlement payment in comparison with the state budget cycle.

Starting in 1999, the state of Kansas has received more than $1.36 billion from participating tobacco manufacturers. These payments are intended to offset the costs of tobacco-related illness and disease that are borne by Kansas taxpayers through government-paid medical benefits. The payments are made each year due to a legal settlement that resolved claims made by 46 states, including Kansas, against tobacco companies during the late 90’s.

The Kansas Legislature came to the conclusion several years ago that most of the annual settlement payments would be used to pay for various children’s programs in Kansas according to the AG.