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Federal Credit Rating Could Affect Kansas Governments

The lower federal credit rating probably won't impact Kansas's credit score. That's according to Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes. Late last week, credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the federal government’s credit score. Speaking before the downgrade, Estes said lowering the federal rating probably won’t have a significant impact on the state’s own credit rating. A lower credit rating makes it more expensive for a government to borrow money. He says the Kansas score focuses more on how the state spends money.

But the federal credit downgrade could still have an impact in Kansas. The federal rating can impact local governments that rely on federal funds or have a significant banking industry. The company Moody’s recently warned more than 160 local governments that the federal rating could affect their credit score. That included governments in Kansas – like Johnson County, Overland Park and Leawood. Last week, Moody’s decided to let all the local governments currently holding AAA ratings keep them -- for now. Local governments across the nation are now watching to see if S&P will lower ratings for states or communities.

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