CHICAGO – The Minnesota Supreme Court has cleared the path for the state’s use of an appropriation pledge to refund $757 million of tobacco securitization bonds, by finding that the proposed bonds can’t be labeled a “public debt” subject to limits on how proceeds are used.

The state’s high court issued its opinion Wednesday in a complaint filed by Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner James D. Schowalter in April asking the court, in effect, to validate the use of an appropriation pledge for a tobacco refunding. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson argued against the deal’s legality.

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