Volume will decline sharply this week as the market closes the books on the first quarter.

Scheduled new issuance is estimated at $3.04 billion, according to Ipreo LLC and The Bond Buyer, ahead of the upcoming Passover and Easter holiday observances. This compares with last week’s supply bonanza totaling a revised $11.86 billion, which included a pair of multi-billion dollar offerings, according to Thomson ­Reuters.

A $487.7 million general obligation public improvement financing from North Carolina will be sold in the competitive market Wednesday.

The financing, which is structured to mature serially from 2011 to 2030, has natural triple-A ratings from Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

Meanwhile, Illinois will usher in the start of the second quarter Thursday with a $250 million competitive GO note sale maturing on March 31, 2011.

Although the state applied for short-term ratings from all three major credit-rating agencies, they were not yet available by press time.

The state’s long-term GO bonds are rated A2 by Moody’s, A-plus by Standard & Poor’s, and A by Fitch.

That is the second-lowest state GO rating after California as a result of Illinois’ recent downgrades stemming from fiscal shortfalls, including a nearly $12 billion budget gap.

Proceeds from the issue will be used to fund Medicaid services within the state.

In the Far West, a two-pronged lease revenue sale from the California Public Works Board totaling $297.9 million will be senior-managed by Wells Fargo Securities and priced tomorrow after today’s retail order period.

The deal is expected to carry ratings of Baa2 from Moody’s, BBB-plus from Standard & Poor’s, and BBB-minus from Fitch.

It consists of $184.7 million of tax-exempt lease revenue bonds maturing serially from 2012 to 2025 with terms in 2030 and 2035, as well as $113.2 million of taxable lease revenue bonds designated as Build America Bonds, maturing in 2035.

Proceeds are being used to finance 22 capital projects, including prison and judicial facilities, and forestry and fire protection, according to the preliminary official statement.

Meanwhile, the University of California Board of Regents is expecting to sell $207.1 million of revenue bonds in a two-pronged deal that will be priced on Wednesday by M.R. Beal & Co., following a retail order period tomorrow.

Rated Aa1 by Moody’s and AA by Standard & Poor’s, the deal is comprised of $200 million of Series 2010S bonds, which are tax-exempt and mature serially from 2012 to 2030 with terms in 2035 and 2040, and $7.1 million of Series 2010T bonds, which are taxable and mature in 2020 and 2030.

Elsewhere in the state, Long Beach is planning to issue $197.1 million of harbor revenue bonds. Scheduled for pricing by Goldman, Sachs & Co. on Wednesday after a retail order period tomorrow, the bonds are rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, and are expected to mature serially from 2011 to 2025.

This week’s calendar pales in comparison to last week when a $3.4 billion sale of taxable California GO bonds thundered into the market on Thursday.

The deal included $2.5 billion of BABs, and was upsized from its originally planned $2 billion due to overwhelming demand.

There was strong demand from foreign investors who placed orders for $1.25 billion —  more than one-third of the offering, according to state officials.

On the long end of the BAB series, for instance, the 2036 maturity carried a 7.625% coupon and a yield of 7.481% — 4.86% after the federal subsidy — and 273 basis points higher than the comparable Treasuries.

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