DALLAS — For issuers who need it, bond insurance nowadays is very expensive, even if it is available. But local governments in Texas are still finding their way to market with state guarantees that offer low up-front costs and result in attractive long-term rates.

The Texas programs include the Permanent School Fund for local school districts and the Permanent University Fund for higher education. There also is triple-A rated coverage for local water utilities and a series of new bond guarantee provisions to keep transportation projects on track.

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