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Rating Agency Revises Kansas Outlook Downward

A major rating agency has revised the outlook on its credit rating for Kansas to "negative" from "stable." The action announced Wednesday by S&P Global Ratings is not a credit downgrade. The state's credit rating remains at AA-, among the lowest for a state. S&P said in a report that the negative outlook reflects what it believes to be weak economic trends and "structural budget pressures." Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $1.1 billion through June 2019. The state has struggled to balance its budget since Republican legislators slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at GOP Governor Sam Brownback's urging. The tax-cutting was what many voters now see as an unsuccessful attempt to stimulate the economy. S&P last downgraded its credit rating for Kansas in July 2016.

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