The Florida Cabinet last week approved the sale of $680 million of new and refunding bonds.

About $50 million of new-money student activity revenue bonds will be priced in a competitive sale by the Florida Board of Governors on behalf of the University of Florida.

Proceeds will be used to finance the expansion of the school's student union.

The Cabinet, which includes the governor and other top elected state officials, also approved the sale of $630 million of public education capital outlay refunding bonds, which are backed by the state's full faith and credit.

The PECO bonds will be payable primarily from gross receipts taxes, and are expected to be sold in four separate series.

Ben Watkins, director of the Division of Bond Finance, reported on the results of two recent refundings totaling $300 million, which resulted in combined present-value savings of $49 million.

This fiscal year, Watkins said his agency has sold 22 refundings totaling $2.6 billion that generated a combined present-value savings of $355 million.

"This has been an extraordinary run," Watkins told the Cabinet. "The interest rates continue to be very favorable. We continue to move aggressively to take advantage of opportunities."

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