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Minn. House Democrats Urge No More Tobacco Bonds

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The expectation of another Minnesota budget deficit has legislators girding for another difficult debate.

And House Democrats threw down one marker Monday: No more borrowing against the state’s multibillion dollar tobacco settlement.

A state authority recently sold more than $750 million in bonds using the tobacco settlement as the repayment stream. It’s for a budget patch seen as temporary. But the 20-year loan will require end up costing $1.2 billion.

Neither Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton nor majority legislative Republicans have ruled out using the mechanism to address future shortfalls.

Rep. Lyndon Carlson, the lead Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, says his caucus will oppose such a plan if it’s put forward next year because it creates more budget problems down the road.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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