DALLAS — After months of failure to balance its budget amid one of the worst fiscal crises in its 97-year history, Arizona Wednesday suffered double ratings downgrades as Moody's Investors Service lowered the credit to A1 from Aa3 leaving the outlook negative, while Standard & Poor's late in the day dropped the state to AA-minus from AA.

The downgrades come ahead of a planned January sale of $733 million of certificates of participation designed to provide operating revenues as the state continues to run a $1.6 billion deficit.

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