West Virginia debt rating downgraded by Moody’s

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The Justice administration says Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the state’s general obligation debt rating, citing growing structural instability between the government’s financial resources and expense liability.

Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy says Moody’s downgrade from AA1 to AA2 follows similar moves last year by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s.

Gov. Jim Justice says state borrowing “just got more expensive” and criticized legislative proposals to refinance some of the state’s pension debt.

The Democrat has proposed fractional sales and corporate tax increases, establishing a surplus safety fund and a bond-funded highway reconstruction program to close a projected $500 million state deficit in the coming year and boost West Virginia’s economy.

Republican legislative leaders have criticized the tax proposals.

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