The downgrade on Oregon's outstanding GO debt rating to 'AA-' from 'AA' reflects the state's weakened financial position, resulting from a prolonged economic slowdown. Following a significant decline in revenues during the 2001-2003 biennium, fund balances at June 30, 2003, are estimated to be minimal, with a general fund unreserved undesignated balance of $20 million-$30 million. State unemployment is the highest in the nation at 8%. Credit strengths include a diversified economic base and low debt burden as a percent of market value. Oregon's GO pension bonds series 2003 are assigned an 'AA-' rating. The state pledges its full faith and credit taxing power, excluding the power to levy ad valorem taxes, to secure the pension bonds. This rating action...
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Action: New Rating
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