Kansas Enters Cigarette-Sale Agreement with Two Tribes

Apr 13, 2016

A sign is displayed on the cigarette-sales counter at a Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation store outside Mayetta. The tribe and the state have signed a compact on cigarette sales designed to prevent the state from losing funds from a legal settlement with tobacco companies.
Credit AP photo

The state of Kansas has been facing the prospect of losing $60 million in annual tobacco payments. The money currently funds children’s programs such as early childhood development and reading comprehension.

To avoid this fate, the state has enacted compacts with local Indian tribes, under which the tribes will be required to disclose their accounting, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. Indian tribes in Kansas have long sold tobacco products without the state of Kansas’ intervention. The new legislation passed unanimously in the Kansas Legislature and was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback last week.

Come July 1, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska must share their financial records with the state. Kansas is still negotiating compacts with the Kickapoo Tribe and the Sac and Fox Nation. But tobacco companies that sell to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s convenience stores will now contribute to the state’s escrow fund. Cigarettes sold on tribal lands will now feature a joint state-tribal stamp for accounting purposes.