Kentucky may lose $45M of tobacco settlement money

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - If Kentucky loses $45 million in tobacco settlement funding next year, it could mean financial woes for state programs in agriculture, health and early childhood development.

The Courier-Journal ( reports Kentucky may lose the funding due to a ruling in September by an arbitration panel that the state didn't properly enforce a portion of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. State officials deny the allegation and have appealed the ruling.

With some uncertainty over whether the state will lose the funding, state officials say contingency plans are being made.

Half of the money Kentucky receives from the settlement goes toward agricultural programs. The other half is split evenly between public health and early childhood development.

A ruling on the appeal is expected in the spring.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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