State budget director Shawn Sullivan hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the state bonding its future tobacco settlement payments in exchange for upfront cash. Though such a move might help the state get through its current budget problems, it would be costly. One “securitization” option would provide the state with about $782.5 million upfront, but it would have to pay bondholders $1.2 billion in principal and interest, and the state wouldn’t receive annual settlement payments again until 2029, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported. It’s no wonder Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, called the bonding idea “a desperate move.” – Phillip Brownlee
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