Tobacco Fund Board Certifies Additional $17.3M

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The board that oversees Oklahoma's Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund has certified an extra $17.3 million in earnings to use next year to fight tobacco addiction and for other health programs.

State Treasurer Ken Miller announced the earnings on Wednesday after a meeting with the board of directors that controls spending of the earnings.

The total amount of earnings certified by the board over the last fiscal year is $36 million. Miller says the additional funds certified Wednesday resulted from an attorney general's opinion that suggested a state law that restricts the calculation of earnings is unconstitutional.

The board also on Wednesday approved a policy to limit its annual spending to no more than five percent of the value of the fund.

The endowment currently contains about $662 million.