OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state board has certified $26.8 million in earnings from Oklahoma’s share of the tobacco settlement money to use this year on health care programs and to reduce tobacco use in the state.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Investors certified the earnings during its regular meeting Wednesday. The board oversees the investment of Oklahoma’s share of the national Master Settlement Agreement that states reached with tobacco companies in 1998.
In 2000, Oklahoma voters approved the creation of a constitutionally protected endowment to fund health programs. The endowment now receives 75 percent of Oklahoma’s share of the tobacco settlement money and currently contains more than $700 million. The other 25 percent of the tobacco money is appropriated by the Legislature.