SANTA FE – With New Mexico facing a gaping budget shortfall and no agreement in sight about how to solve it, a national credit rating agency has announced it is considering downgrading the state’s top rating for general obligation bonds.
Moody’s Investor Service, in announcing its review earlier this week, expressed concern that recent state revenue estimates showed a “structural imbalance” in the state’s budget for the fiscal year that started in July.
The top budget official in Gov. Susana Martinez’s office said Tuesday that the review was expected and that there’s still time for budget-balancing measures that might prevent the state’s triple-A bond rating from being lowered, a move that could drive up future borrowing rates.
“Given how hard we’ve been hit by the oil and gas price crunch, I’m certainly not surprised that Moody’s is considering our budget situation,” Finance and Administration Secretary Duffy Rodriguez told the Journal.
Other energy-reliant states have also had their credit ratings scrutinized – Alaska’s credit rating has been downgraded twice this year – after big drops in oil and natural gas prices.
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