NASBO: Medicaid Expansion Spurs State Budget Spending to Highest Rate in 23 Years
Driven by the expansion of the U.S. federal government’s Medicaid program, spending by states in fiscal 2015 rose to its highest rate in 23 years, according to report released by the National Association of Budget Officers on Thursday.
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Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White on Wednesday declined to take a position on a bill that would increase hedge fund reporting in the wake of fund purchases of Puerto Rico’s debt, saying it has both pros and cons.. more »
Puerto Rico's congressional representative Pedro Pierluisi strongly opposed the idea of the federal government imposing a federal fiscal control board on Puerto Rico, warning it would be "a blatant exercise of colonialism." more »
Puerto Rico said recently that there is no reason to believe that its debt is unconstitutional, but that this issue could arise in legal disputes if there is no “consensual restructuring” of the debt. more »
Puerto Rico needs to be put on life support and the way to do it is through bankruptcy, former Detroit bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes told The Bond Buyer in an interview. more »
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Dec. 1 to explore Puerto Rico’s fiscal problems and the potential options that are available to help the island, panel chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced Thursday more »
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, has been chosen as the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. more »
Municipal bonds would be hurt under Republican presidential candidates’ tax reform proposals because the plans would lower or eliminate individual and corporate income tax rates, congressional observers said. more »
Sales of State and Local Government Series Securities will resume Tuesday at noon EST, the Treasury Department said, after President Obama signed legislation Monday that suspends the debt limit through March 15, 2017. more »
The National Governors Association has hired Scott Pattison to be its new executive director and chief executive officer. more »
Puerto Rico could benefit from a control board similar to what Congress implemented for Washington, D.C., said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. more »
Municipal bond issuers and borrowers haven’t substantially improved the amount of time they take to complete their financial audits, a report from Merritt Research Services found. more »
A budget deal released late Monday would suspend the debt limit through March 15, 2017 but would also extend sequestration of direct-pay bond subsidies by an additional year, through fiscal 2025. more »
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has told Treasury Secretary Jack Lew that any debt in Puerto Rico that was issued in violation of the territory’s constitution “must be immediately set aside.” more »

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New York State Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder, D-Queens, examines outer-borough growth and transit needs in New York City, as well as efforts to harden its water-exposed neighborhoods.

The notion of option-adjusted spread (OAS) is the standard analytical tool for taxable fixed income securities. It is also making inroads into the muni market. Unfortunately the usual implementation for munis is flawed, rendering the results virtually meaningless. So it is understandable that many muni professionals shy away from OAS in favor of the archaic ‘yield-to-worst’ approach. Correct implementation would undoubtedly attract converts.

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