Pennsylvania declines tobacco offer
HARRISBURG (AP) — The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said it’s declining a settlement offer by tobacco companies in favor of waiting for an arbitration panel’s decision that will help determine how much the companies owe the state.
The attorney general’s office said Friday was the last day to accept the offer. It said the offer was for about $167 million, while $247 million in disputed payments sits in an escrow account.
The payments to states are required under a 1998 agreement that prevented companies from being sued by state governments for the costs of health care for smokers. Pennsylvania is due to get an annual payment of about $340 million on Monday.
But a portion is owed is in dispute going back a decade. The panel’s decision is expected in May or June.