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CONGRESS EXPANDS SCHOOLS' ACCESS TO BOND INSURANCE

 CONGRESS EXPANDS SCHOOLS' ACCESS TO BOND INSURANCE
 WASHINGTON, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Congress has expanded Connie


Lee's ability to insure college bond financings for modern academic facilities and equipment.
 Both the House and Senate have now agreed to legislation permitting the College Construction Loan Insurance Association (Connie Lee) to guarantee bonds of any college not served by other financial guaranty companies. Previously, Connie Lee's bond insurance was restricted entirely to lower investment-grade-rated schools.
 The revised Higher Education Act now authorizes Connie Lee to guarantee up to $600 million for higher-rated schools over a five- year period. President Bush is expected to sign the new Higher Education Act into law.
 Colleges are not familiar credits to many buyers of municipal bonds. Without bond insurance many institutions are unable to issue long-term bonds. Other schools are sometimes forced to pay higher interest rates than issuers of similar credit quality who are in more familiar market sectors.
 Oliver R. Sockwell, president and chief executive officer of Connie Lee, commented: "There is a $100 billion deficit in America's higher education infrastructure. Connie Lee's mission is to help educational institutions access bond financing to rebuild their campuses. This legislation is a victory for the nation's schools and will help to modernize their classrooms, scientific equipment and other academic facilities."
 The University of Scranton (Pa.) is among those higher-rated colleges previously unable to obtain bond insurance from other companies, but was prevented from using Connie Lee. Vice President of Finance and Treasurer David E. Christiansen, detailing the school's plight to get a proposed bond issue insured, stated, "Despite our A- rating from Standard & Poo
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 9, 1992
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