A multi-billion dollar settlement with large tobacco companies in 1989 is now the focus of Bobby Jindal's plan to rectify the state of Louisiana's current budget crisis. According to the Governor selling the rest of the tobacco settlement could insure funding for the state's TOPS program for the next seven or eight years.

State Treasurer John Kennedy doesn't agree with what the Governor is suggesting. Kennedy told the Louisiana Radio Network,

"You dangle 700-million dollars in front of the Louisiana legislature right now and it's going to be spent as fast as green grass through a goose,"

For those of you not familiar with the digestive tracts of geese, that's pretty darn quick.

Kennedy says that even though the state is facing a 1.6 billion dollar shortfall, this tobacco solution isn't the best solution.

"You never make financial decision this important, when you're under this kind of financial pressure,"

Despite the advice from the treasury the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation has begun the process of selling the tobacco settlement. To make that sale final it will require the concurrence of the state legislature. The Speaker of the House, Chuck Kleckly, says this means the issue will be brought up several times in public discussion and debate. So while the wheels may be in motion, the money is far from being spent.

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