New Jersey will enter the market in the next two weeks with roughly $1.7 billion of fixed- and variable-rate debt to help the state restructure its auction-rate securities and rein in soaring interest costs.

The Garden State has $3.4 billion of state-backed auction-rate debt issued by three different agencies - the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority, and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority. Since the auction-rate market began to fail in early February, the state has been forced to pay an estimated $1.8 million per week, on average, in additional interest costs on the auction-rate securities, according to a Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee budget hearing on Monday.

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