immediate release --August 23, 1999.
Contact Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699
Companies Pay Iowa $1 Million
for Costs of the State's Lawsuit
"The industry is paying our costs for the suit that resulted in payments
to Iowa of $1.9 billion over the next 25 years. Now we need to finish
off this work and take action to save thousands of lives."
Attorney General Tom Miller said Monday that the tobacco industry is paying
the State of Iowa $1,022,270.86 in reimbursement of the State's costs
in pursuing Iowa's lawsuit against the industry -- a suit which was settled
last November with the industry agreeing to pay Iowa $1.9 billion over
the next 25 years.
Miller said the first
reimbursement payment of $817,816.69 is arriving today, and the remaining
portion of over $200,000 is expected later this fall.
"This is another
successful milestone," Miller said. "State taxpayers are being
compensated for almost three years of costs in pursuing this case."
is for costs incurred by the Attorney General's Office from April 1996
to January 7, 1999, when Iowa's lawsuit was formally concluded in Polk
County District Court. The settlement was part of a comprehensive settlement
reached last November between the tobacco industry and 46 states.
The State was reimbursed
for several thousand hours of work on the suit by Attorney General Tom
Miller, Deputy Attorney General Gordon Allen, and Assistant Attorney General
Steve St. Clair, and for other costs including travel, telephones, research,
and expert witnesses.
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Miller said Iowa will
receive payments of about sixty or seventy million dollars a year for
twenty-five years under the overall settlement -- with the first payment
of $76 million arriving no later than next June 30 and perhaps sooner.
"Now we need
to take the next big step and take action to save thousands of lives,"
Miller said. "We must invest a portion of the tobacco settlement
funds in proven programs that will reduce nicotine addiction and improve
the health of all Iowans."
Miller said he would
unveil a proposal soon for spending some of the tobacco money on efforts
to reduce sales to youth and youth addiction, and to help adults stop
"The good news
is that we don't have to reinvent the wheel," Miller said. "Some
states have already demonstrated that we can achieve dramatic success
in programs to improve health and reduce addiction. They are cutting sales
to youth and youth usage of tobacco. They are saving lives with proven
programs," he said.
our suit in November 1996 for Iowa's health, Iowa's youth, and Iowa's
future," Miller said. "Now we need to deliver on that promise.
We need to invest a share of the tobacco funds for health," he said.
"Iowa can succeed
just like other states," Miller said. "Five thousand Iowans
die every year from tobacco-related disease. We can substantially reduce
that death toll."
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