S&P Reveals Snapshot Of Bank Loan Market
State and local governments of all sizes are using direct bank loans as an alternative to traditional bond financing, Standard & Poor's said Wednesday, renewing its call for more transparency surrounding bank debt.
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The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is sounding another call for transparency of undisclosed debt such as bank loans, warning that failure to improve disclosure practices could impair market pricing or even threaten the rights of bondholders. more »
Reps. John Duncan, R-Tenn., and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., have once again sponsored legislation to exempt water and sewer private-activity bonds from state volume caps. more »
An online sales tax proposal from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte is drawing criticism from a top Senate Democrat and officials with state and local government groups. more »
President Obama's fiscal 2016 budget is expected to propose permanently increasing the qualified small issuer to cap to $30 million and allowing banks investing in munis to take a deduction – two provisions that were included in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. more »
The median level of state reserves declined by 21.5% in fiscal year 2014 and is expected to decline further this fiscal year, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. more »
Contrary to the assertion in a Bond Buyer article that the 2010s may turn out to be the decade of the municipal bankruptcy, it is remarkable how few muni bankruptcies were sought in the wake of the most severe fiscal crisis to hit local governments since the Great Depression. more »
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has introduced a bill that would make the deduction for state and local sales taxes permanent, while Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has introduced a bill that would make the moratorium on taxing Internet access permanent. more »
The Congressional Research Service has released a report providing information and revenue estimates for tax-exempt bonds for members of Congress who are likely to examine them and consider curbs in tax reform proposals. more »
New House rules on dynamic scoring could make tax reform easier to do, said municipal and tax experts who differed on whether such scoring would benefit or hurt municipal bonds. more »
Michigan Democrat Rep. John Conyers has introduced legislation that would make it much harder for municipalities to restructure their debt through bankruptcy. more »
Congress needs to preserve the tax exemption of municipal bonds if it's serious about supporting infrastructure, National Governors Association vice president and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said. more »
Connecticut receives $30 million in grants for restoration and resiliency to infrastructure in municipalities affected by Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced. more »
State and local governments are the underdogs in influence peddling in Congress mostly because they spend little to nothing on lobbyists, in contrast to the millions of dollars spent by the big securities, banking and investment groups. more »

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has a long history of fiscal uncertainty and structural deficits. Responding to decades of general fund deficits in 2014, the rating services lowered the ratings on the Commonwealth’s general obligation credit to below investment grade, or junk status.

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