LOS ANGELES -- A bill enabling California's Richmond Unified School District to repay its defaulted $9.8 million certificate of participation issue could reach the state Senate this week, after clearing a key committee by an unanimous vote Monday.

AB 2595, introduced by Assemblyman Tom Bates, D-Berkeley, would allow the district to pay off its $29 million of outstanding loans from the state by selling some surplus property to the state and using the proceeds to retire the loans. This would free funds to pay $1.4 million annual principal and interest payments on the 10-year certificates sold in 1988. The district defaulted on the COP issue last year.

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