Louisiana Overpaid $17M In Annual Tobacco Settlement Money

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The attorney general says Louisiana received about $17 million more in tobacco settlement money this month than it should have.

         Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's office notified the Jindal administration and Treasurer John Kennedy about the overpayment, saying national accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers made mistakes in settlement payments across states.

         Louisiana is one of many states that settled lawsuits for claims of smokers' deaths and health costs against tobacco companies in 1998 in return for annual installments of money.

         Caldwell's office says Louisiana was expected to receive $138 million this year and instead got more than $155 million.

         Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said Friday that the state hadn't anticipated receiving the extra money and returning the overpayment won't disrupt the budget. She says her office is working on the repayment mechanics.



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