Credit agency concerned about North Carolina budget impasse

Dado Ruvic - Reuters

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s lengthy budget impasse is getting attention from a leading credit-rating agency, whose top score for the state allows it to borrow very cheaply.

Moody’s Investors Service writes the lack of a final two-year budget agreement between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-controlled legislature “reflects governance weakness and is credit negative.” The state still holds Moody’s triple-A rating.

Moody’s analysts pointed out last week that state law and several approved “mini-budgets” alleviate most spending limitations for now, but the standoff during healthy economic times doesn’t bode well for when revenues and the economy stagnate or decline.

Cooper vetoed the budget in June. His veto has not been overridden.

North Carolina’s top rating from the top three credit agencies is considered the gold standard for a state’s fiscal health.