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HealthEast Loses Rating Ground
Minnesota-based HealthEast Care System lost its Fitch Ratings investment grade rating over its lack of progress in improving profitability.
St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul is one of three acute care facilities operated by HealthEast, which was dropped to junk this week by Fitch Ratings.
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The Indianapolis Airport Authority has reached a settlement agreement with the Internal Revenue Service over rebate liability in connection with $347 million of tax-exempt bonds issued in 2006.  more »
Dana Lach has returned to Foley & Lardner’s healthcare finance, public finance and finance and financial institutions practices, the law firm announced on Thursday. She will be working out of the firm’s Milwaukee office.  more »
CHICAGO — Rating agencies offered modestly positive comments on Chicago's proposal to save its laborers' pension fund from insolvency. The positives were tempered by concerns over the bigger and more costly challenge posed by the city's much larger municipal employees' pension fund and continued growth in the city's unfunded liabilities. Chicago's collective $20 billion of unfunded obligations in its four funds has dragged the city's credit down, and all four rating agencies assign a negative outlook to…  more »
Political discord among Illinois lawmakers and leaders deepened after House Democrats bypassed ongoing bipartisan budget discussions to push through a fiscal 2017 spending plan that Gov. Bruce Rauner said he would veto.  more »
The State Legislature's failure to pass a bonding bill means $15 million in state funds was not allocated to make improvements to a dangerous stretch of Hwy. 12 in western Hennepin County.  more »
The partisan political in Illinois further deepened Wednesday as the Democratic House Speaker prepared to call a spending plan slammed by Republicans as phony and $7 billion out of whack.  more »
Wayne County, Mich. County Executive Warren Evans has said he intends to make the bid to end the county’s emergency consent agreement by the end of 2016.  more »
Missouri-based public finance law firm Gilmore & Bell PC is bulking up, adding two bond lawyers who primarily focus on school district finance.  more »
Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Snyder have settled on a budget framework that cuts funding for a proposed state water infrastructure fund to offset dwindling tax revenue while leaving intact $165 million in proposed aid for Flint.  more »
Ferguson, Missouri will go back to voters seeking a tax hike to help balance a budget strained by a drop in tax collections, legal expenses, and the costs of tackling policing and municipal court reforms outlined in a federal consent agreement.  more »
The California Public Employees' Retirement System's purchase of an equity stake in the Indiana Toll Road earlier this month is part of a growing trend of public pension funds investing more directly in large infrastructure assets.  more »
Voters in Carrington approved a $16 million elementary school construction project Tuesday in a special election.  more »
Voters in the school district Tuesday approved a ballot question that will raise $105.8 million in the next 25 years.  more »

Daniel Berger, Senior Market Strategist at Municipal Market Data, talks about the recent rally in municipal bonds which has brought long-term yields down to record lows. He talks about continuing demand from retail investors in light of the upcoming Summer redemption season and he discusses the allure that the American tax-exempt market has for overseas buyers. He outlines the recent spread compression in quality credits and also looks at some of the market's outliers -- Puerto Rico and Chicago.

Our legislation would preserve money market funds as a source of liquidity and capital for public the infrastructure needs of our citizens.

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