Board approves plan to invest tobacco settlement funds
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The state Investment Management Board has approved a plan to invest the state's tobacco settlement money in stocks and bonds -- which could include tobacco company stock.
Craig Slaughter, the board's executive director, said there are no restrictions on investing pension funds in tobacco company stocks and that restricting tobacco settlement money could create a burden.
A recent performance report shows that the state's Consolidated Pension Fund investment portfolio includes R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. stock.
West Virginia currently receives between $50 million and $70 million a year from its share of the national tobacco settlement. The payments are expected to continue for 25 years, unless the companies go bankrupt.
The investment plan, adopted Thursday, would allow for tobacco settlement funds to be invested in the same amounts as the pension fund -- 30 percent in large cap stocks, 15 percent in small cap stocks, 15 percent in international stocks and 40 percent in bonds.
The governor, secretary of administration and several state lawmakers are expected to receive copies of the plan.
It will take effect in 60 days, if no one objects.