Tobacco companies have paid just more than $1 billion in annual payments to Kansas in the past 18 years.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Monday tobacco manufacturers had paid Kansas the money as part of a legal settlement to resolve claims by 46 states. The settlement allowed Kansas to recover part of the costs it pays for tobacco-related illness and disease.

Schmidt says payments to Kansas are likely to decline significantly in April 2018 under terms of the agreement.

Kansas uses most of the money to early childhood education programs.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports state lawmakers have shown an interest for using some of the funding for other state budget needs.

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