S&P downgrades Florida's financial outlook to 'negative'

Florida's housing collapse and large budget deficits could make it harder for the state to borrow money for projects like highways and schools. Bond rating agency Standard & Poor's trimmed the state's financial outlook last week from "stable" to "negative" based on its $13.4-billion in state-backed debt. For borrowing purposes, the state is still rated AAA, but that rating could decline if financial troubles continue. Florida faces a $2.3-billion budget deficit this year, most of that from smaller sales tax collections. If the AAA rating were downgraded, Florida would have to pay higher interest on future debt. On a positive note, S&P said the state's long-term economic prospects are good.

S&P downgrades Florida's financial outlook to 'negative' 01/19/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 9:47am]

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