Karen's Feed
Sep 2, 2015

Illinois eyes bond sale this year despite fiscal problems

CHICAGO, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Illinois is eyeing a return to
the U.S. municipal bond market this year after an absence of
more than 15 months, even as the state struggles to address its
many fiscal problems.

The state expects to sell some bonds, “but is not ready now
to announce amounts or sale dates,” Catherine Kelly, a
spokeswoman for Governor Bruce Rauner, said on Wednesday.

Sep 2, 2015

Illinois eyes bond sale this year, hires debt director

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois is eyeing a return to the U.S. municipal bond market this year after an absence of more than 15 months, even as the state struggles to address its many fiscal problems.

The state expects to sell some bonds, “but is not ready now to announce amounts or sale dates,” Catherine Kelly, a spokeswoman for Governor Bruce Rauner, said on Wednesday.

Sep 1, 2015

Illinois avoids federal contempt charge over payments

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Tuesday declined to find
Illinois in contempt of court for failing to make timely
payments to providers of services for disabled residents as the
state struggles to operate without a budget.

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said her dismissal of a civil
contempt motion filed by attorneys for the disabled will allow
the state to work on payment issues with service providers
“without that hammer hanging over your head for now.”

Aug 28, 2015

Illinois argues against contempt charge in funding case

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois’ cash-flow problem makes it
impossible to meet specific payment deadlines for services
provided to developmentally disabled residents, according to a
state filing on Friday in U.S. District Court.

In an attempt to avoid being held in contempt of an Aug. 18
federal court order, Illinois said it paid all July and August
bills for community-based services for the disabled. It also
argued it was doing all it can to pay bills mandated by courts
along with obligations required under state law in the absence
of a fiscal 2016 budget.

Aug 26, 2015

Illinois must disclose which bills it has paid or not paid -judge

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday gave
Illinois until midday on Friday to disclose which bills the
state has paid or not paid and why it could not fully comply
with a court order to fund services for developmentally disabled
residents in the absence of a fiscal 2016 state budget.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said she
was “very disappointed” the state failed to meet an Aug. 21
payment deadline she set in her Aug. 18 order and did not
communicate that failure to the court.

Aug 25, 2015

Illinois faces contempt charge over funding failure

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Attorneys for disabled Illinois
residents asked a federal court on Tuesday to find state
officials in contempt of an order to pay for services despite
the lack of a fiscal 2016 budget.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman on Aug. 18
ordered Illinois to make timely payments for all services,
programs and personnel required under a 2011 consent decree that
covered more than 10,000 Illinois residents with developmental
disabilities.

Aug 19, 2015

Detroit’s $245 mln bonds priced in first post-bankruptcy issue

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – Detroit’s post-bankruptcy debut in the U.S.
municipal bond market on Wednesday resulted in hefty yields for
$245 million of bonds, signalling that investors remain
skeptical of the city’s recovery.

Tax-exempt bonds totaling $134.7 million were priced at par
with a top yield of 4.50 percent in 2029. That resulted in a
spread over Municipal Market Data’s benchmark yield scale for
top-rated bonds of 194 basis points. The yield on the A-rated
bonds was also 133 basis points over MMD’s single-A scale.

Aug 7, 2015

Kansas tops U.S. municipal bond calendar with $1 bln pension deal

Aug 7 (Reuters) – Kansas will offer $1 billion of taxable
pension bonds in the U.S. municipal market next week in a move
that could make investors skittish given a recent default on
some bonds in Puerto Rico and credit ratings downgrades in
Chicago.

Debt service on the bonds is subject to annual
appropriation, meaning that Kansas’ legislature must decide each
year whether to allot money to make the payments.

Aug 5, 2015

Illinois looks to federal money to maintain services amid budget impasse

CHICAGO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – With Illinois starting its second
month of fiscal 2016 without a budget, the Senate on Tuesday
passed a bill that has Governor Bruce Rauner’s support to tap
$4.8 billion in federal dollars to fund certain state services.

The 57-0 vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate sends the
measure to the House, which returns to session on Wednesday. The
bill will help fund programs that provide food and child care,
help pay utility bills for low-income families, support domestic
violence victims, and aid the disabled.

Jul 30, 2015

Chicago eyes issuing costly capital appreciation bonds

CHICAGO, July 30 (Reuters) – The latest general obligation
bond proposal from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel could have the
cash-strapped city selling up to $500 million of capital
appreciation bonds (CABs), a form of debt that government
finance experts say could be costly and risky.

CABs are municipal debt for which payments are deferred
until the bonds’ maturity while interest compounds. Emanuel’s
administration on Wednesday proposed a refunding of outstanding
GO bonds that would give the city the flexibility to issue CABs
or the more commonly used current interest bonds for which
interest is paid on a periodic basis.