The Illinois Supreme Court will have the final say on the constitutionality of the state’s 2019 consolidation of suburban and downstate police firefighter pension fund assets. A group of police funds challenged the legislation, which has so far cleared two legal hurdles. Kane County Circuit Court Judge Robert Villa upheld the law in May 2022 and
Chicago’s new mayor, Brandon Johnson, is tasking a “working group” that includes his finance team and state legislative and labor representatives with finding long-term funding fixes to ease the city’s pension funding woes. Chicago’s $33.7 billion of pension liabilities remain a huge burden on the city’s balance sheet and budget despite progress in recent years.
Road infrastructure groups cheered a Supreme Court decision last Thursday narrowing the definition of which streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act. The top court’s ruling on Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency weighs in on a 50-year debate over the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) by establishing a more
Oklahoma lawmakers overrode the veto of a bill aimed at reforming the governance structure of the state’s turnpike authority, which is awaiting a ruling on the validity of bonds to begin funding a $5 billion extension project. Ahead of Friday’s end of the legislative session, the override of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s May 19 veto passed
The White House and Republicans reached a deal over the holiday weekend that will avoid the nation’s first breach of its debt limit and leave untouched leftover pandemic aid allocated to cities and states. A House vote on the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 is set for Wednesday to move the bill ahead of a
Illinois lawmakers expect to cast a final vote early Saturday on a nearly $50.7 billion budget that preserves scheduled deposits into the rainy day fund, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed $200 million pension supplemental pension payment and pay off of the state’s tobacco bonds. Some of those plans appeared in possible jeopardy in recent weeks over
Municipals were weaker in spots in light trading Friday while U.S. Treasuries were weaker again on the short end on higher inflation reads. Equities rallied on a potential debt ceiling deal. “A slew of hot economic data points are keeping the bond market selloff going strong,” noted Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA. The
Tennessee is betting nuclear energy will make a comeback. The state, which hosted labs that helped split the atom during World War II, has joined the race to develop and deploy the first commercial-grade variant of a scalable nuclear reactor that promises to provide an important piece of the nation’s green energy network. After appropriating
The Equity in Infrastructure Project has named Everett Lott, director of the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation, as vice chair of the organization which is dedicated to boosting opportunities for Historically Underutilized Businesses. “I know firsthand how increasing contracting opportunities for HUBs can change lives and communities for the better,” said Lott. “I am
Municipal bond investors are paying more attention to the credit risks posed by public pension and other retirement liabilities. Municipal finance officers should prepare to address those questions when they apply for bond ratings and sell new issues and may want to consider bond insurance or other forms of credit enhancement to help build investor
Cities and towns should take a hard look at the banks that hold their public funds in light of the recent turmoil in the bank industry. That was the message from panelists speaking Monday at the Government Finance Officers Association’s annual conference in Portland. “You might want to change up how you’re doing your banking,”
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson won’t say yet whether he intends to leave in place his predecessor’s executive order earmarking a budget surplus for future supplemental pension contributions. He also hasn’t committed to which of the tax proposals he advocated the campaign that brought him to the mayor’s office this month he will pursue first.
Municipals were weaker in the belly of the curve Thursday while U.S. Treasury yields sold off on the short end on Fed speak and continued concerns over the debt ceiling impasse. Equities were mixed near the close. Despite the rally in tech stocks, USTs and munis are reacting to uneven economic data and a potential
California lawmakers are betting voters have had a change of heart regarding the need for a statewide school bond measure. The state Senate approved on Wednesday a $15.5 billion school construction bond measure that would go before voters in March that is similar to the $15 billion Proposition 13, a failed school bond measure that
A fierce winter storm that hit several states more than two years ago is still churning out bond-related events, with a Texas utility refunding taxable tendered debt with tax-free bonds thanks to a private letter ruling, and an Oklahoma deal falling short on a debt service payment. Billions of dollars of debt has been sold
Siebert Williams Shank & Co. LLC has hired veteran public finance banker Nathan Flynn to establish a branch office in Indianapolis with an eye on broadening the firm’s coverage of borrowers in the Midwest and Southeast while also adding to the firm’s project finance and structuring chops. Flynn starts at the firm as a managing
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined Little Rock, Arkansas-based Crews and Associates $50,000 and its former head trader and chief executive Rush F. Harding $30,000 for their roles in selling municipal bonds with markups to an affiliated bank, with Harding having violated MSRB Rule G-18 on best execution and Rule G-17 on conduct and
Fitch Ratings has warned it may downgrade the United States’ AAA credit amid a worsening showdown over the country’s debt limit. The agency late Wednesday put the nation’s issuer default rating on rating watch negative. The warning comes as Washington has been unable to reach a deal to avoid breaching the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit,
Minnesota lawmakers ended their 2023 session after passing a two-year budget with new funding for schools and social services, a $2.6 billion capital package, and a tax package that raises some taxes and fees on top earners and corporations while providing rebates for others and paying off debt for the NFL Vikings’ stadium. The budget
Municipals were steady to weaker in spots Wednesday, while U.S. Treasury yields rose several basis points in conjunction with the release of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes that showed members split on whether interest rates will be raised further. Stocks sold off. After cuts up to 10 basis points Tuesday, triple-A yields were cut
The secondary market has yet to react to California’s negative outlook from Moody’s Investors Service, as credit spreads have generally tracked the recent market selloff. While Municipal Market Analytics acknowledged that California faces some economic headwinds, the firm was surprised at how quickly Moody’s revised the outlook after the governor’s May budget revisions were announced.
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