Muni Minute: Louisiana’s Scoop and Toss

In the newest installment of Muni Minute – The Bond Buyer's 60-second video series that examines a top municipal market story that will impact the coming week – we shine the spotlight the upcoming bond sale from Louisiana, which will be issuing a scoop-and-toss debt restructuring amid recent rating downgrades.

Weitzman: The state of Louisiana is expected to come to market with a general obligation offering Wednesday in what officials are calling the state's first scoop and toss deal that they can recall. The state's fiscal standing has worsened over the past six years as they try and dig deeper in cutting essential services to bridge its budget deficit. State officials say the par amount on the deal depends on market conditions. The state bond commission had authorized a sale up to $600 million and as of last week, the deal was scheduled to be $359 million.

The sale is part of the state's deficit reduction strategy and will push bond payments into later years, while still shortening the maturity of the refunded bonds by more than a year. The structure is designed to achieve maximum cash flow to generate $81 million in savings for budget relief, most of which will be taken in the current year. Will this strategy end up helping or hurting? Only time will tell, but for now things are murky down in the bayou.

I'm Aaron Weitzman and this has been your Muni Minute.