King: New Mexico Could Lose Up To $25 Million In Tobacco Settlement Money
Attorney General Gary King's office estimates New Mexico could lose from $12 million to $25 million next year from a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies.
New Mexico is to collect about $39 million in tobacco payments this year and has received nearly $572 million since 1999.
A legislative panel is to hear from King's office Wednesday about a reduction in revenues because of an arbitration ruling against New Mexico and five others states in September. A three-judge panel concluded the states didn't adequately enforce laws requiring smaller tobacco companies to pay certain fees if they weren't part of the 1998 settlement with major companies.
New Mexico is using nearly $20 million in tobacco revenue this year for early childhood programs and to shore up a lottery-financed college scholarship program.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.