Pa. treasurer OKs $650 million bond sale

    Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord is reining in Governor Ed Rendell’s plan to borrow $1 billion for construction projects.

    McCord has rejected the 10-figure request. But he said Thursday he will approve a $650 million bond sale.

    Bond sales need the approval of the treasurer or auditor general. Usually, both officials sign off on the paperwork, but Auditor General Jack Wagner rejected Rendell’s proposal last week, saying Pennsylvania is “drowning in debt.”

    After talking to Rendell staffers, as well as members of the incoming Corbett Administration, McCord said he’s approving $650 million in borrowing for various construction projects across the state.

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    “We’ve been given firm assurances that this money is for already contracted, ongoing projects,” said McCord. “And that this will fund their cash flow needs until June.”

    Rendell’s spokesman, Gary Tuma, said the administration’s analysis is different. He predicts Gov. Tom Corbett will need to borrow more money by April.

    Tuma said the bonds were a “matter of the state paying its bills” on projects already under way .

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