FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg announced today that South Dakota has received its annual tobacco settlement payment totaling $20,864,744.11.
The payment is made each year pursuant to the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) which resolved claims made by 46 states, including South Dakota, against the tobacco companies in the late 1990s and now requires those same tobacco companies to compensate South Dakota to offset the costs of tobacco-related illness and disease within the state.
In 2003, South Dakota securitized the annual payment into the South Dakota Educational Enhancement Trust Fund which is managed by the South Dakota Investment Council. The annual payment ensures prompt payment of the trust obligation which allows for the trust to subsequently distribute money into the general fund to be appropriated for education enhancement.
“The Tobacco Enforcement Division in my office works hard to make sure that South Dakota diligently enforces the terms of the MSA,” said Ravnsborg. “These funds are an important annual step essential for funding our children’s education.”
Since the first payment was made in 1999, South Dakota has received more than $500 million from the participating tobacco manufacturers.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the State of South Dakota and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the State as well as representing the State in state and federal court. The Office of Attorney General also handles prosecutions, felony criminal appeals, civil matters, consumer protection issues, and issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for agencies of the state. Visit www.atg.sd.gov to learn more.
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CONTACT: Tim Bormann, Chief of Staff, (605) 773-3215