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Cash-Strapped KS Considers Cash Now in Lieu of Future Tobacco Settlement Money

The state of Kansas might consider selling future payments from a tobacco lawsuit settlement in exchange for an immediate cash payout. (Photo by J. Schafer)

A prominent children’s advocate says there’s a plan afoot in Topeka to raise some quick cash by selling the state’s structured settlement from a tobacco lawsuit. The settlement currently provides about $50 million a year for early education and other children’s programs. But Shannon Cotsoradis (Cot-so-ra-dis), the president of Kansas Action for Children, says lawmakers are talking about trading those annual payments for $400 million in immediate cash to help balance the state budget.

A spokeswoman for Governor Sam Brownback, Eileen Hawley, says, "There is no deal or pending legislation to sell tobacco settlement money.  Several months ago, a presentation was made to state officials about 'securitization' of future tobacco settlement money to Kansas."

This story was contributed by Jim McLean, of the KHI News Service.

Lobbyist: Budget Woes May Prompt State to Sell Future Tobacco Settlement Money for Cash Now

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