Oklahoma's Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust

Monday, May 5th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- State Treasurer Robert Butkin says a new law is good news for the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

A bill signed recently by Governor Brad Henry changes the provisions that set up the trust.

The bill defines earnings as dividends and interest cash from investments.

The initial legislation didn't define earnings. Trust directors were limited to spending only the amount that the fund had appreciated in value.

Butkin says the new language provides revenue in a reliable fashion. He says that'll help the board keep anti-smoking programs in place from year to year.

The new bill also allows directors to spend half a (m) million dollars from the interest earnings for operational costs. The initial law had set an administrative limit of 15 percent and not more than 500-thousand of the earnings.