TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is acknowledging that it illegally diverted specialized fees to help cover general government spending as part of a 2009 budget fix to settle a lawsuit filed by a legislative leader.

Former Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal said Wednesday that the settlement is a victory for businesses and individuals who pay fees to cover the costs of state regulation. Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis approved the settlement last month.

O'Neal was House speaker when as an attorney he filed the lawsuit for providers of workers' compensation insurance coverage that paid annual fees.

The settlement declares that the diversion of nearly $3.1 million in fees from workers' compensation, bank regulation and real estate regulation funds was illegal. Legislators paid those funds back in budget legislation approved earlier this year.