Louisiana's credit rating downgraded by another agency

Dardenne addresses latest credit downgrade at Baton Rouge Rotary Club

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Another credit agency downgraded Louisiana's credit rating Tuesday.

State Treasurer John Kennedy announced that Fitch Ratings knocked the state's rating down a notch.

"This is what happens when you spend more than you take in for seven years running. It's disappointing but not surprising," Kennedy said in a statement Tuesday. "The rating agencies are tired of Louisiana's accounting gimmicks and spending practices."

In February, Moody's Investors Service also downgraded Louisiana's credit ratingMoody's announced the change in the middle of a legislative special session that was focused on fixing a state budget shortfall of more than $900 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year and $2 billion for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

The downgrading by Fitch comes days before the state will go to market on up to $600 million in general obligation bonds, according to Kennedy.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne spoke about the credit downgrade at the Baton Rouge Rotary Club Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, we kind of saw the handwriting on the wall with what Moody's did," Dardenne said. "We were hoping that Fitch and Standard and Poors would not follow suit. Fitch decided to do the downgrade and unfortunately, it just shows the problems that we're facing."

Governor John Bel Edwards released the following statement Tuesday regarding the credit downgrade by Fitch:

"This news further illustrates the severe budget crisis Gov. Jindal's administration left us. We had hoped the special legislative session would have produced the results we needed to avoid another credit downgrade. Unfortunately, some members of the legislature refused to work with me to stabilize our budget. We will continue working to address the budget challenges before us, and I am hopeful that during the next special session the legislature will come together in the spirit of cooperation to restore prosperity to our state."

Recently, the governor sat down with rating agencies, arguing that legislators are working to stabilize the budget.

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