Tuesday, April 07, 2009

CIRM Bond Effort Still a Possibility

The private sale of bonds by the California stem cell agency could remain an option, according to the California state treasurer's office.

Tom Dresslar, spokesman for Treasurer Bill Lockyer, made the comment today in response to questions from the California Stem Cell Report.

CIRM has not responded to our inquiries concerning the reports that proceeds from a $3 billion to $4 billion taxable bond sale this month sale would help out CIRM. John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica, Ca., predicted that the CIRM would snag about $400 million. (See his comment on the "cash infusion" item.)

We asked Dresslar for his comments on the bond sales reports. In his initial response, he said,

"We will sell taxable bonds. Proceeds can be used on taxable bond-funded projects, including stem cell. We hope to pay the PMIA for the outstanding 250 million loan to CIRM.
Then we asked him,
"Will funds be available for grants and operations beyond the repayment of that loan? If the funds are used in that fashion, will it enable CIRM to take out a new loan? In other words, does CIRM need to continue its plans to privately market bonds? Are the items I have been writing concerning the LA Times and Bond Buyer stories off base?"
Dresslar replied,
"It will be up to the Department of Finance to allocate funds from bond sale. But about 1 billion of the proceeds will be used to replenish PMIA for outstanding loans, including CIRM. There will be no new loans, at least for the time being. So I would think private placement remains an option."

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