CHICAGO — The fate of Minnesota’s proposed tobacco bond refunding is in the hands of the state’s high court, which is being asked to decide whether the use of an appropriation pledge constitutes a “public debt” that is subject to state limits on the uses of such debt.

The issue before the Minnesota Supreme Court, which is being asked to validate the bonds, stems from from the state’s plan to refund its November 2011 issue of $757 million of tobacco bonds. The original debt is secured by payments the state receives under its settlement with major tobacco companies.

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