Olympia - May 24, 1999 - State Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today that Washington state will receive an additional $100 million from the multi-state settlement between state attorneys general and the tobacco industry. The second and final allocation lifts Washington’s total award from the settlement’s Strategic Contribution Fund to $494.9 million, which is the highest amount in the nation.
The tobacco settlement included an $8.6 billion Strategic Contribution Fund as a bonus to reward states which had a leadership role in the lawsuits and/or helped bring about the resolution. The money is in addition to the approximately $4 billion in annual payments due Washington over 25 years (the payments will go on in perpetuity).
"This money is recognition of Washington’s role in the lawsuit and settlement," said Gregoire. "I am pleased that our work and the sacrifices we made will be appropriately rewarded."
Washington was the ninth state to file a lawsuit against the tobacco industry and Gregoire was the lead negotiator in the multi-state settlement.
A three-member independent panel of former state attorneys general allocated the money. In March, the panel awarded ninety percent of the fund. Washington’s share was
$394.9 million. To address any possible inequities, the panel reserved its decision on the final ten percent until states were given an opportunity to comment on the original allocation.
"No state was more committed than Washington," Gregoire said. "By giving Washington the largest percentage, the committee recognized the enormity of our state’s contribution to the litigation and the settlement talks."
The state will receive the first Strategic Contribution Fund payment beginning in the year 2008 and the remainder over the following ten years.