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Fitch downgrades Minnesota's credit rating

Posted by: Baird Helgeson under Funding, Gov. Mark Dayton, State budgets Updated: July 7, 2011 - 3:21 PM

Years of short-term budget solutions cost Minnesota its top credit rating from a top financial analyst.

Fitch Rating downgraded Minnesota’s bond rating Thursday, which means it will cost the state more to borrow money for road projects and buildings of statewide significance, said Minnesota Management & Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter.

The change will also hike interest rates for cities, counties and schools.

“This downgrade is the result of several budgets in which the state didn’t act to address its structural deficit," Schowalter said in a news release. "For years Minnesota has prided itself on having constructive, responsive public solutions but in the eyes of the marketplace, we are slipping.”

Fitch downgraded Minnesota's bond rating from AAA to AA+.
Standard and Poors, another rating agency, continues its top rating for Minnesota. Moody's Investors Service rates the state as an AA1.

The last time the state was downgraded it took fifteen years to regain the highest rating, Schowalter said.

“This downgrade is a sad statement for those who have worked to deliver quality public services and took our high ratings extremely seriously," he said. "The best we can do now is to resolve the budget debate in a timely fashion and in a manner that addresses our long-term financial stability."

 

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