Iowa Gov. Chet Culver late last week signed into law an $830 million bond-financed economic development program aimed at creating jobs.

“With our nation facing the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, and with thousands of Iowans still feeling the effects of last year’s natural disasters, Iowans will meet our challenges head on, thanks to the I-JOBS Initiative,” Culver said.

Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald expects to issue $635 million of revenue bonds as soon as early June to support the program. Barclays Capital is senior manager on the transaction and Dorsey & Whitney LLP is bond counsel. Public Financial Management Inc. is the financial adviser on the transaction.

The bonds will be secured by gaming revenues and will carry a backup pledge of liquor taxes. The secondary pledge is needed as voters weigh in on the continuation of state gaming every 10 years. The state will also tack on a moral obligation pledge. It will follow up with a sale next year of $117 million that will be secured by an appropriation pledge.

Iowa does not issue stand-alone general obligation bonds, but it carries a Aa1 issuer rating from Moody’s Investors Service, an implied GO rating of AA-plus from Fitch Ratings, and a AAA from Standard & Poor’s.

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