JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state has lost an arbitration case and will refund money it receives through a multi-state settlement with tobacco companies.
The attorney general's office says it is reviewing the order to determine how much Missouri will need to refund. The funds will be deducted from a payment the cigarette manufacturers make this upcoming April.
A three-judge arbitration panel sided with more than 30 cigarette manufacturers' claims that Missouri and several other states had failed to diligently enforce state tobacco laws in 2003 as was required in a 1998 legal settlement with 46 states. The tobacco settlement agreement was reached in 1998.
Missouri's share of the tobacco settlement was about $150 million in 2003.
It appears union workers and Metro Transit still have a long way to go before agreeing on new contracts. Union members from the St. Louis area cast a symbolic vote Tuesday.
Labor leaders says workers voted in favor of a mediator's recommendations related to pensions and pay but rejected recommendations related to health insurance.
John Nations, Metro president and CEO says the transit agency doesn't have the money to meet workers demands. He's urging the two sides to sit down and negotiate.
Union officials say they don't expect a strike this month, but say if transit officials don't negotiate in good faith, a work stoppage could come next month.