California faces deadline tomorrow to avoid junk bond status


The state of California must pass a budget by tomorrow or its credit rating could tumble to junk status. Both Moody's and Standard & Poor's have warned the state of a multinotch downgrade if the state fails to approve a budget.
California currently has an A2 rating, the lowest of any state. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger needs to close a $24.3 billion budget deficit and has threatened to cut essential services if a budget agreement cannot be reached.

On Wednesday, July 1, California Controller John Chiang will begin to pay bills with IOUs because he will run out of cash if the legislature doesn't deal with the deficit for the coming fiscal year. Fitch Ratings downgraded California's general obligations Friday to single-A-minus from single-A, citing "the magnitude of the state's financial and institutional challenges and persistent economic and revenue weakening."

Originally published