LOS ANGELES - Gov. Pete Wilson of California has vetoed a bill designed to allow the state treasurer to restructure $135 million of general obligation bond principal payments, saying the measure represents a deficit rollover."
The governor said in his veto message Tuesday that the bill would allow the state treasurer, Kathleen Brown, to "issue debt in order to delay debt payments" due Oct. 1 on about $4.3 billion of GO bonds.
Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, introduced the bill, AB 796, as an urgency measure to allow the state treasurer to refund bonds as long as a refinancing "is necessary or desirable to effect a favorable reorganization of debt structure ... or effect a savings in debt service costs."
California cannot legally call most general obligation debt, so the legislation was designed to let the treasurer restructure the bond payments without changing the call provisions. said, Michael Reese, a spokesman for Ms. Brown.
A dispute over the cost effectiveness of certain bond refundings arose last year when the governor proposed refinancing $1.2 billion of lease revenue bonds as part of his fiscal 1993 budget plan.
The state treasurer opposed the governor's refunding proposal, arguing that it would actually increase cumulative debt service. The plan never went forward.
Ms. Brown subsequently proposed another idea. In a July 30 letter to Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, D-San Francisco, she suggested using bonds to refund about $245 million of GO principal payments coming due in fiscal 1992-93, instead of paying them over two subsequent years.
That amount was later reduced to $135 million because a budget delay lasted into early fiscal 1993. A state finance official said the Oct. 1 principal restructuring transaction would be akin to an advance refunding.
Mr. Reese acknowledged the payment restructuring represented deficit spending, as the governor charged in his veto measure. But, Ms. Brown's spokesman added, the treasurer's refunding proposal was an "improvement over the refunding [the governor himself proposed last December."