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Standard & Poor's Downgrades New Jersey's Bond Rating To A-Plus

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New Jersey's bond rating just got a little lower, meaning it could cost the state more to borrow money.

Standard & Poor's announced its action Wednesday, saying the state still has a structural deficit even as the economy is improving.

The general obligation rating was dropped to A-plus from AA-minus.

The state's debt, its pension obligation and one-time measures that cannot be sustained to fill budget gaps were reasons for the downgrade, according to the report.

The new rating means the state is still considered to have a strong capacity to meet debts but it is more susceptible to changes in economic conditions.

Spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, Kevin Roberts, said the state is trying to address all the concerns but needs lawmakers to agree to changes in the pension program for public employees.

Paul Sarlo, chairman of the state Senate's budget committee noted that the Standard & Poor's report faulted the state for coming up short of revenue projections in the current fiscal year. He said that shows Christie's administration should listen to lawmakers' critiques about overly rosy projections to fix the problems.

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