WASHINGTON - State and local issuers could be awarded as much as $1.5 billion in discretionary grants, loans, and other credit assistance as early as this fall, under the new stimulus law.

Transportation Department officials announced last month that they would begin to award the credit assistance in September. They also said they would use up to $200 million of the $1.5 billion to provide loans and credit assistance to state and local governments for transportation projects under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, which had already exhausted its funds for this fiscal year.

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