Today’s Bond Buyer magazine reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking input from stakeholders on municipal bond markets and oversight. From the article:
Securities and Exchange Commission officials are urging market participants to provide their views about the muni industry and how it can be improved, after the SEC was forced by budget cuts to suspend a series of field hearings that were to be held around the country.
The ongoing commission-wide review of the municipal market is expected to result in a report that may recommend legislation, rulemaking, and changes in industry practices.
“We’re trying to cobble together a plan so that we can keep moving,” SEC commissioner Elisse Walter said in a recent interview.
Last year, Walter presided over two field hearings in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the first in a series of nationwide panels designed to examine the municipal securities market and provide input for the staff report.
However, the remaining muni-field hearings that were slated to be held in Birmingham, Ala., Tallahassee, Fla., Chicago, and Austin have been shelved due to budgetary constraints.
“It’s a disappointment,” said Robert Doty, president of American Governmental Financial Services in Sacramento. “I think it would be beneficial to have the hearings and gather the information.”
For months, the SEC has operated amid uncertainty over the budget for its current fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1.