SAN FRANCISCO - California Treasurer Bill Lockyer and 19 state municipal bond issuers sent a letter on Friday to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers, requesting Federal Reserve aid for issuers that need liquidity for variable-rate debt.

"The economic crisis has inflicted serious, widespread harm on our budgets and, much more important, on the taxpayers we serve," Lockyer said in a statement. "Mounting troubles in the short-term bond market are deepening those wounds. It's time for the federal government to help."

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