CHICAGO — Fitch Ratings stripped Minnesota of its coveted AAA rating Thursday, punishing the once flush state for political gridlock that has driven a reliance on one-time revenue gimmicks to balance recent budgets, and is also behind the current impasse over a $5 billion budget gap that has shut down state government.

Fitch lowered the rating one notch to AA-plus and assigned a stable outlook. The action directly affects $5.7 billion of state GO bonds. The downgrade also drove a one-notch drop in the state's school district credit enhancement program to AA. Minnesota retains its AAA from Standard & Poor's while Moody's Investors Service rates it Aa1.

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