Standard & Poor’s said California Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget released this week projects that lower revenues have little impact on the state’s credit rating.
“We see the credit implications of the revised budget as broadly similar to the proposal in January,” S&P said in a report released Thursday.
“The state’s fiscal and cash position continue to be stronger than at this point in 2012, albeit with some economic clouds on the horizon.”
The report said Brown’s restrained approach to forecasting revenue also helps set the tone for the upcoming budget negotiations.
Staandard & Poor’s said it would continue to view the state’s unfunded retiree health care liability, less than actuarial contributions to teachers’ retirement system, and a volatile revenue structure as possibly roadblocks to a “significantly” higher rating.
“The May budget update does not propose any reforms to these weaker elements of the state’s credit profile,” the report said.
Brown’s revised general fund budget proposal released Tuesday cuts general fund spending by $1.3 billion from his January proposal amid lower revenue forecasts for the next fiscal year due mainly to federal cuts.
The governor’s updated spending plan earmarks $96.4 billion for fiscal 2014, a 1.3% drop from his $97.7 billion proposal in January.
State general fund expenditures would still be 3.6% higher than last year’s $93 billion budget.
Standard & Poor’s upgraded California to A from A-minus in January, and Fitch Ratings upped its outlook on the state to positive with an A-minus rating in March.
Moody’s Investors Service rates the Golden State’s general obligation bonds A1.