The Legislative Joint Budget Committee and the State Bond Commission last week separately approved the state’s plan to buy $238 million of variable-rate debt issued in 2006 by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, which oversees the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
The Bond Commission approved the plan on April 24, and the Budget Committee gave its approval the next day with no discussion or objections.
The LSED issued $294.3 million of auction-rate debt in March 2006 to restructure the existing debt, provide $40 million of new money to repair hurricane damages at the facility, and give the district $25 million for operational expenses.
The 2006 sale included $170 million of insured tax-exempt revenue and refunding bonds, $70 million of insured taxable and tax-exempt convertible revenue and refunding bonds to facilitate additional advance refunding opportunities, and $56 million of uninsured taxable revenue and refunding bonds.
The Superdome district sought relief from the state when problems in the auction-rate market earlier this year drove the interest on the bonds to 12% from 4%, requiring the LSED to pay an additional $60,000 to $65,000 a day in debt service.
A bill that allowed the state treasury to purchase the bonds as an investment was passed in March by the Legislature in special session.