DALLAS -- The Texas Bond Review Board yesterday approved three state bond deals, including a $22.9 million issue that nearly exhausts the authorization to use general obligation bonds to build prisons.

The board voted to let the Texas Public Finance Authority sell the prison bonds, which were authorized in 1989, when voters approved a $400 million bond program.

Voters will decide Nov. 5 whether to approve a $1.1 billion bond program to expand the state's crowded prison system. If approved, the measure would be the largest GO plan in state history.

Tom Pollard, executive director of the review board, said the panel also voted 5 to 0 for the authority to sell $2 million of lease revenue bonds for work on the Republic Plaza office building project in Austin.

In other action, the board approved a $33.6 million current refunding by the Texas Veterans Land Board, which will include $6 million of college saver bonds.

Because the issue will use current refunding bonds, it will not require new constitutional authorization from the board, will not need a private-activity bond allocation, and is not subject to the alternative minimum tax.

The college saver bonds will be sold as zero coupon bonds with maturities ranging from 2001 to 2011 and will be available in denominations of $1,000. A group led by Merrill Lynch and Dean Witter expect to sell the bonds in late October.

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