BRADENTON, Fla. - Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. yesterday authorized the sale of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion of tax-exempt bonds as part of its restructuring plan designed to extricate itself from the troubled auction-rate securities market.

Because of continuing volatile market conditions, the exact amount of debt to be sold most likely won't be determined until pricing, which is expected at the end of April or the beginning of May. It is also likely that the fixed-rate bonds won't be insured, although Citizens is keeping that option open if cost-effective insurance becomes available when the deal is priced.

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