It could be the middle of next week before we know whether the Missouri House will take up Governor Holden’s tobacco bond proposal. House Speaker Catherine Hanaway still wants clarification on the type of bonds would be issued and the risk the state faces. And, Hanaway doesn’t think much of Holden’s challenge that Republicans should come up with an alternative if they don’t like his plan. She says he made the same challenge last session when Republicans blocked use of the Rainy Day Fund and she says not only did they give Holden alternatives, state revenue came in better than expected. Holden has challenged legislators: either support turning national tobacco settlement funds into bonds to fill a $350-Million shortfall or he will cut deeply into education. Hanaway says Republicans have suggested using only a portion of the $350-Million this fiscal year and holding some in reserve for next year – an alternative that she says the Governor has refused to consider.
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