CHICAGO - With ratings in the double-A category and clearance from the Illinois auditor general, the Chicago Transit Authority is readying its long-planned issue of nearly $2 billion of taxable pension-related bonds for sale as soon as next week.

The need for the auditor's review and a timeline that gives the CTA fewer than 120 days to complete the transaction were included in legislation approved in January by the General Assembly that authorized the issue. The fixed-rate financing represents one piece of the transit bailout package that included a sales tax increase in the Chicago area and an increase in the city's tax on real estate transactions.

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