ATLANTA -- The West Virginia Supreme Court late Thursday ruled that the state's School Building Authority cannot issue annual appropriation-backed bonds without voter approval.

However, the ruling does not apply retroactively to the authority's $301 million of outstanding debt or to future refunding bonds, the court ruled. Although the decision squashes the authority's plans for sale this summer of $190 million in new-money debt, the action permits the issuer to move forward with a refunding issue of about $150 million on hold since mid-June.

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