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Congress Passes Extenders Bill; Obama Signs Omnibus
Congress left town for the holidays after passing a bill that will extend expired bond-related and other tax provisions retroactively through 2014, as well as a $1.01 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund most government agencies through the end of fiscal 2015 but cut some grant programs.
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The National Association of Municipal Advisors is urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to create exemptions from broker-dealer and investment adviser registration for MA firms engaged in activities understood to be normal municipal advisory services.  more »
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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined two firms a total of $7,500 for violations of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board rules, FINRA said in its monthly disciplinary report Monday.  more »
As state and local governments struggled in the recession, debt grew faster than both revenues and expenditures, climbing 22% from $2.4 trillion in 2007 to $2.9 trillion in 2012.  more »
Use of municipal bonds should be encouraged, and their prevalence should not be limited, because state and local governments face challenges financing projects through other means, Rep. Randy Hultgren said.  more »

As it steps up its efforts to police the municipal securities market, the regulator is turning to potentially career ending sanctions for municipal officials.

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