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Georgia Farmers Applaud Decision Regarding Tobacco Settlement Payments

Friday, August 19, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA - Governor Sonny Perdue, chair of the Georgia Tobacco Community Development Board, today applauded the decision of the North Carolina Supreme Court to reverse an earlier decision prohibiting distribution of Phase II Tobacco Settlement payments.

“Today’s decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court is a positive step toward Georgia farmers receiving tobacco settlement payments,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.

Georgia quota holders and growers were scheduled to receive approximately $24 million in Phase II Tobacco Settlement Payments in 2004. Distribution of these funds was delayed when a suit was filed in North Carolina to determine whether enactment of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 relieved tobacco companies of their obligations to the Tobacco Grower Settlement Trust for 2004.

Governor Perdue worked with the Georgia congressional delegation to ensure that Georgia farmers secured a tobacco buyout. This legislation passed in October of 2004.

Today’s action by the North Carolina Supreme Court may be appealed. The Georgia Tobacco Community Development Board will distribute payments to farmers if funds become available when the appeal process is complete