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   Missouri is losing millions of dollars from the 1998 tobacco settlement because of a legislative loophole that allows smaller tobacco companies to keep a competitive edge in the state.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri is the only one of the 46 states involved in the settlement that hasn't acted to stop smaller tobacco companies from recouping the money they pay into a settlement escrow fund.  
   Big tobacco companies say that gives the smaller firms a six-dollar per carton pricing advantage. Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer says it cost Missouri almost $70 million in settlement funds this year and could cost the state as much as $2 billion over the next decade.   For the fourth year in a row, the Columbia Republican has introduced legislation to close the loophole.  
   The state House is considering a similar bill.  Right now, both bills are in committee.
 
Published in Local News

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — Legal experts say a New York court case has exposed a possible loophole in the Son of Sam law.

Because Leatrice Brewer was found not guilty by reason of mental disease after drowning her three children in a Long Island bathtub in 2008, she may be eligible to a share of the children's $350,000 estate.

That money is from a lawsuit the children's fathers settled after claiming county social services workers failed to properly monitor Brewer and her children.

Son of Sam laws are intended to prevent convicted criminals from profiting from their crimes. New York was the first state to enact such a law in the 1970s following the capture of notorious serial killer David Berkowitz.

A court hearing in Brewer's case is scheduled for next month.

Published in National News

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