Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was handed a victory this week when the state’s 10th District Court of Appeals ruled that the governor and the General Assembly have the authority to spend more than $230 million of tobacco settlement funds originally set aside for antismoking programs to help balance the budget.

The decision overturns an August decision by a Franklin County Common Pleas Court that had stopped the state from depleting the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation fund. The foundation was created with money from Ohio’s share of the multibillion-dollar national settlement with major U.S. tobacco companies.

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