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Document Confirms Concerns About Tobacco Settlement Discussions

Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor

Documents obtained by a child advocacy organization show that representatives of a Wall Street firm met with Kansas officials about bonding the state’s tobacco settlement last fall.

Kansas Action for Children President Shannon Cotsoradis says a document her organization obtained from a national business reporter confirms that a plan for bonding the state’s tobacco settlement is under discussion.

“This document underscores that there is an active conversation and there is the potential for this deal to be struck at any time so that I think it’s worth being concerned about given what’s on the line," she says.

Cotsoradis and others fear that bonding the long-term settlement deal for a one-time payment to help ease the state’s current budget problems would jeopardize future funding for children’s programs.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s spokesperson Eileen Hawley confirmed that representatives of Citigroup met last October with State Budget Director Shawn Sullivan and officials from the Kansas Development Finance Authority--but she says no deal has been struck.

More from KHI News.