Lining up for next windfall

States line up to sue opioid makers, but there’s no guarantee of a windfall or agreement on how to spend one.

UPFRONT MONEY: Thomas Mullaney, executive director of the R.I. Office of Management and Budget, also serves as chairman of the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corp. The organization was set up in 2002 following a 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry to pay 46 states for the health care costs of smoking, which included Rhode Island. The Ocean State was one of nine states to set up a corporation to get more of the settlement money upfront by selling bonds backed by future tobacco payments. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
In November 1998, Rhode Island was part of a historic settlement with the tobacco industry to pay for the health care costs of smoking that would keep the 46 states involved flush with cash for decades to come. The state has received more than $1 billion in total tobacco payments since 1999, with annual payments…

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