Issuer groups pushing for the Senate Banking Committee to add language in financial regulatory reform legislation mandating that municipal securities be rated on the same scale as other kinds of debt are getting a boost from an unlikely source: the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest labor unions in the country.

The SEIU, with about half of its 2.2 million members employed by states and localities, believes mandating that municipals be rated on a uniform, or corporate-equivalent, scale is chiefly a matter of fairness. It also believes munis rated on such a scale would generally translate into a lower cost of borrowing for their members’ employers, which in turn could lead to the creation or retention of jobs.

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