Nevada Official Urges Caution On Plan To Reduce $1 Billion

A spokesman for Gov. Jim Gibbons says the governor agrees caution is needed in considering a plan to reduce the state's growing revenue shortfall by selling bonds that would be redeemed with payments the state now gets from the tobacco industry.

Press secretary Ben Kieckhefer said Gibbons met with Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto who described complex legal issues involved in the bond sale plan advanced by Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki. Krolicki participated by phone.

Krolicki outlined the "securitization" proposal last month. He has estimated that bond sale revenues could amount to $600 million or more, and that would put a big dent in a revenue shortfall estimated to be nearly $1 billion a year from now.

Gibbons is considering various options to cope with the revenue crisis, including Krolicki's proposal that would revise the use of the tobacco payments made under terms of a master settlement agreement between states and the tobacco industry.