Pennsylvania has a surplus, and lots of budget patches, too


In Pennsylvania, good fiscal times may not necessarily mean good fiscal condition.
The rage in the state Capitol right now is the surplus that state government rolled up in the almost-ended fiscal year.
But that surplus hasn’t necessarily changed outside views that Pennsylvania has tall fiscal challenges.
The surplus is expected to ease the passage of an on-time budget and leave a substantial sum to deposit into a reserve fund.
Such a deposit hits on a key criticism of credit rating agencies, that Pennsylvania lacks reserve cash.
Still, Pennsylvania remains among the lowest-rated states by credit-rating agencies, which often criticize the state’s budget-management practices.
In a research note last week, Moody’s said Pennsylvania has routinely shown little willingness to enact structural solutions to its budget challenges.

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