Graphic: Leza Berardone
Everybody wants a piece of the pie, especially when that pie is worth $206 billion. That is the total amount the states won from the tobacco companies last November in the largest civil settlement in U.S. history. Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Texas had settled individually for a combined amount of $40 billion earlier. The payments will be made over the next 25 years, and even though the money is still not available to the states, a scramble over how to spend it is in progress.

Initially, many legislators were concerned that the federal government might attempt to recoup some of the states' tobacco settlement by claiming the payments from the tobacco companies were essentially third-party Medicaid reimbursements. However, in late May of this year President Bill Clinton signed a bill with an amendment that denies the federal government access to any of the money. With the recoupment...

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