State and local government issuers have said for years that they do not want Washington to dictate the form and content of the information they release to the municipal bond market. But now that the Securities and Exchange Commission is turning up the heat for better disclosure, suddenly many issuers and other market participants are hungry for more guidance.

"The details are absolutely critical," said Virginia B. Rutledge, chief financial officer of the Orlando Utilities Commission. "Exactly what is a significant event [that should be disclosed] is not as well defined as we would like."

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