Jindal's tobacco settlement sale proposal hits resistance
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to sell Louisiana's remaining share of a massive tobacco settlement to help generate a few years of short-term cash has stalled.
Treasurer John Kennedy refused to put it on the State Bond Commission agenda, though commission approval is needed for a sale. Legislative leaders also are showing resistance, looking for other ways to solve state budget problems.
Jindal's top budget architect, Kristy Nichols, said Friday the sale isn't dead and she continues to work with lawmakers on the idea.
The proposal involves Louisiana selling the tobacco settlement for about $750 million, with $150 million earmarked for coastal projects and the rest paying for the TOPS free college tuition program over seven years.
The state would trade $1.2 billion in annual settlement payments for the lump sum.