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Mo. Senate panel endorses tobacco settlement fix

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri Senate panel has endorsed legislation that seeks to recoup money from a settlement with tobacco companies.

Under the settlement, Missouri expected to get $130 million this year. But it will likely get less than half because of an arbitrator's ruling that state officials failed to diligently enforce the settlement a decade ago.

Supporters of the bill endorsed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday with a 7-3 vote say it would help Missouri negotiate a smaller loss of settlement funding. Opponents argued the measure isn't necessary and would hurt smaller tobacco manufacturers.

The bill would essentially force a price increase on some cheaper cigarettes that compete with the brands made by big tobacco companies. It is sponsored by committee chairman Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia.


Tobacco Settlement is SB 820

Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

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