State Treasurer Bill Lockyer prepares to sell $4 billion in general-obligation bonds to help pay for hundreds of stalled construction projects.
File this under "news to watch anxiously."
The state of California has decided to reduce the size of a scheduled sale of tax-exempt, long-term bonds from $1.75 billion to $1 billion. The reason? State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is blaming turmoil in the municipal bond market, which has forced bond sellers to pay higher yields. Instead, the state will boost a planned sale of taxable bonds that comes with a federal subsidy.
Why should we worry? Because the state of California, with its permanently out-of-balance budget, must rely on borrowing for cash. If borrowing becomes too difficult or too costly, it could add to the state's cash difficulties -- and to its budget problems.