S&P Drops South Texas Private Prison to Junk
Standard & Poor’s downgraded the Willacy County Local Government Corp. to a junk-bond rating of CCC-plus from an investment grade BBB after a $78 million bond-funded detention center lost its operator in the wake of an inmate revolt.
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The Internal Revenue Service is expected to challenge the Scottsdale Municipal Property Corporation’s allocation of some its 2013 bonds to refinance a lease agreement in connection with to a garage adjacent to the largest luxury shopping mall in Arizona.  more »
The Texas Senate has approved a $4.6 billion reduction in school property taxes under a bill by Sen. Jane Nelson. The Texas House is considering an even larger $4.8 billion tax break.  more »
For the third time in three years, Phoenix voters will be asked to approve changes in the city’s pension formula in hopes of making the retirement system more sustainable.  more »
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert called for negotiations on a plan to expand Medicaid that would be approved in a special session of the state Legislature.  more »
Amid a search for a new superintendent, Fort Worth Independent School District will take $271 million of bonds to market for new projects and refunding.  more »
Former RBC Capital Markets managing director Mel Schonhorst achieved a measure of success after seven years trying to clear his name in a Texas investigation that cost him his job though he was never accused of anything.  more »
New Mexico Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez said the Senate was "sucker-punched" by the House in the last hour of the 2015 session, leaving nearly $270 million of projects unfunded.  more »
The West Texas city of Lubbock will price a $131 million general obligation bond refunding and $99.3 million of certificates of obligation for its water and sewer program.  more »
The Kansas Legislature has approved Sen. Ty Masterson's bill replacing the state's school funding formula with a block grant system recommended by Gov. Sam Brownback.  more »
Integris Health Group received more than $1 billion of orders for $200 million of refunding bonds issued through the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority, producing savings of 5.8%.  more »
Issuers in Colorado and Nevada separately disclosed this week that the Internal Revenue Service is conducting routine audits of bonds they issued in 2006.  more »
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott named Tyron Lewis chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, the state's largest issuer of debt, replacing Ted Houghton.  more »
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has cancelled a contract with the operator of a private detention facility in Raymondville, Texas, that was closed after an inmate revolt.  more »

Some local governments may require extraordinary financial assistance from the Commonwealth, adding to pressure on its general obligations.

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