Will the Rhode Island Legislature be the Last to Know that RI is in Trouble?
A Projo editorial from Monday, quoting a press release from General Treasurer Frank Caprio, quoting all three major bond rating agencies, serves reminder that the rest of the country understands that Rhode Island’s current financial quagmire is occurring at a time when the national economy is booming, increasing the difficulty of investment in RI…
Standard and Poor’s: “While the outlook remains stable, Rhode Island’s use of one-shot revenues to balance operations is growing. The state needs to make measurable progress in better balancing recurring revenues to expenditures; failure to address this concern will pressure the rating.”Add (or subtract, I guess) the big loss in revenue that could result if gambling is expanded in Massachusetts, and it becomes obvious that a fundamental change in the structure of Rhode Island’s spending — a change reducing the total level of spending, not a change that tries to shift the spending burden around — is necessary very soon to prevent RI from falling into bankruptcy.
Fitch Ratings: “The state’s financial position is strained, reflecting weakness in certain key revenue sources….Additional stress or failure to achieve spending restraint goals could result in downward rating pressure.”
Moody’s: “This is the second time in six years that Rhode Island has resorted to deficit bonds to resolve its budget imbalance, underscoring the state’s continuing financial strain at a time when most states are moving toward structurally balanced budgets.”