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OREGON'S $30 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Oregon's General Obligation Elderly and Disabled Housing Bonds, $16.9 million 1993 Series B (Refunding) and $13.1 million 1993 Series C (Private Activity) are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The state's $4.8 billion outstanding 'AA' general obligation bonds are affirmed. The bonds are expected by negotiation Nov. 30 through a syndicate led by Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc. The bonds are due Aug. 1, 1994-2009, with terms in 2014 and 2026; they will be callable beginning Aug. 1, 2003, at a price to be determined. The term bonds have provision for mandatory redemption.
 Oregon's rating is based on its low level of tax-supported debt and on economic growth of recent years, which has been reflected in good financial operations. With revenues exceeding estimates, the general fund closed the 1991-93 biennium with a balance of $361 million. While the recession has slowed growth, Oregon has been less affected than most other states.
 The state now faces the financial challenge, mandated by Ballot Measure 5, of accommodating the additional $1.1 billion for education in the 1993-95 biennium. A balanced budget of $6.4 billion has been approved, incorporating the stepped-up educational allocation within existing revenues, by sharply reducing other programmatic expenditures. A ballot measure establishing a 5 percent sales tax dedicated to education was soundly defeated in November. The governor has proposed further cuts in the 1993-95 budget and will continue to examine various areas for savings. In addition, a recent court decision has held that the state must return $81 million (previously transferred to the general fund) to the Industrial Accident Fund; total repayment obligation could be higher. In light of these pressures, the credit trend is uncertain and the ability of the state to achieve orderly implementation of the budget shift and to manage growth pressures within the reduced governmental scope remains a major factor in future evaluations.
 -0- 11/29/93
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/


CO: ST: Oregon IN: SU: RTG

GK -- NY058 -- 8317 11/29/93 13:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 29, 1993
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