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.