State Claws Its Way Out of Fiscal Basement

Standard and Poor's upgrade of California's bond rating from A- to A lifts it from the state with the worst credit in the nation to the second-worst. The agency cites the state's new commitment to aligning revenue with expenses. 

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer says even a minor adjustment in the credit rating will help with the $7-8 billion in bonds the state issues every year.

"California has such a backlogged infrastructure need that we've got to go to market anyhow," Lockyer said. "We're just going to pay less for it, and that would allow us to pay for a few more projects."

Lockyer says there's still a lot of work to do to get back to the top rating, which is AAA. He says the state needs to build a more stable tax system, and get its unfunded liabilities under control in health care and pension costs.

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