Gov. Charlie Crist and the elected officials who comprise the Florida Cabinet Tuesday approved the sale of $200 million of Board of Education capital outlay bonds.

The approval came at the request of Ben Watkins, director of the Division of Bond Finance, although it is not clear when the bonds can be sold, given the current state of the market.

The division is responsible for selling bonds for many state agencies that have funds on hand through the end of this year for various capital outlay projects, Watkins told the Cabinet. He added that his office is monitoring the market daily, “so if market conditions normalize we will be in a position to move forward with the bond issues that we currently have scheduled.”

“We are also doing contingency planning in the event that the markets do not normalize over the near term so that we will be in a position to evaluate the best way to access credit on a going forward basis,” Watkins said. “And we are hopeful that the extraordinary federal intervention is going to have the desired impact in the credit markets and eliminate the fear and restore confidence so people, institutional investors, and market participants will continue dealing with each other.”

“So, in short, we are hoping for the best and planning for the worst,” he said.

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