"Golden LEAF on the Chopping Block," Feb. 16, 2011, by Colby Dunn
It’s no secret that the state budget is in a tight spot. In the few weeks the General Assembly has been in session, a raft of new laws already have hit the legislative floor, most proposing cuts in varying degrees of severity.
But perhaps the most debated has been Senate Bill 13, a Republican-penned proposal called the Balanced Budget Act of 2011. The bill calls for several money-moving measures that would dip into special pots of money in an effort to relieve the deficit — the most controversial being a proposal to raid the coffers of the Golden LEAF.
Golden LEAF has handed out hundreds of millions in grants during the past 12 years. Its purpose: use proceeds from the lawsuit against tobacco companies to help tobacco-dependent communities transition away from the ever-diminishing returns of the once-bumper crop and into other economic markets. ...
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