TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The state of Kansas has received its annual tobacco settlement payment, according to the Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

This year’s payment totaled $61,332,864.66 and is meant to reimburse the state for funds previously appropriated by the Legislature to pay the current year’s cost of programs financed from tobacco settlement proceeds.

The state Legislature appropriates funds that will not be received until the following April and then reimburses that amount when the annual payment is obtained due to the timing of the yearly settlement payment in comparison with the state budget cycle.

Starting in 1999, the state of Kansas has received more than $1.36 billion from participating tobacco manufacturers. These payments are intended to offset the costs of tobacco-related illness and disease borne by Kansas taxpayers through government-paid medical benefits. Each year, the payments are made due to a legal settlement that resolved claims made by 46 states, including Kansas, against tobacco companies during the late 90s.

Several years ago, the Kansas Legislature concluded that most of the annual settlement payments would be used to pay for various children’s programs in Kansas.