Credit rating agency raises concern about Louisiana gridlock

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers' failure in the special session to help close a budget gap only four months away is raising red flags with a national credit rating agency.

S&P Global Ratings said Wednesday that continued uncertainty about Louisiana's finances because of legislative gridlock "has emerged as a credit weakness." The agency made no move to downgrade the state's credit rating, but the update signals such a threat could exist.

National credit rating agencies have repeatedly raised concerns about the impermanent nature of Louisiana's financial base - and about the looming expiration of more than $1 billion in temporary taxes when the new budget year begins July 1.

Three major rating agencies downgraded Louisiana's credit rating in 2016 and 2017, making it more expensive to borrow money for roadwork and construction projects.

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