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MOODY'S CONFIRMS Baa RATING FOR COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL OBLIGATIONS

 MOODY'S CONFIRMS Baa RATING FOR COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
 GENERAL OBLIGATIONS
 NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Moody's Investors Service has confirmed the Baa rating assigned to commonwealth of Massachusetts general obligations in connection with the commonwealth's sale, expected later this week, of approximately $175 million general obligation refunding bonds, 1992 series A and 1992 series B.
 Commonwealth efforts in the last year to address underlying budgetary imbalance offer the prospect of greater financial stability in the future. These include the enactment of a fiscal 1992 budget based on conservative revenue assumptions, initiatives seeking to achieve long-term savings through changes in operating and capital programs, and development of a consensus revenue-estimating process.
 Subsequent increases in this year's revenue estimate for the commonwealth, which stand in contrast to a pattern of shortfalls in most other states, are evidence of the initial benefits produced by these efforts. Another positive development is a change in the focus of debate over fiscal issues now taking place, one which raises policy questions of which services to deliver and how to set priorities among them, rather than simply how to match revenues to expenditures. But even though fiscal 1992 is now expected to end with positive budgetary fund balances, these will be reduced from the prior-year level, as expected at the time of budget enactment.
 Risks to financial improvement are still posed by economic stress, continuing spending pressures and the uncertainty of savings expected from program changes. Use of non-recurring revenues in this year's budget has been reduced from initial plans but still-significant reliance on such resources is proposed for next year.
 Key rating considerations in coming months will be the achievement of balanced results, now expected for this year, and the enactment of a sound budget for fiscal 1993.
 Commonwealth of Massachusetts general obligation bonds outstanding, including current offering: $10,424,683,000
 -0- 4/29/92
 /CONTACT: George Leung, 212-553-0342, or Steven Hochman, 212-553-0338, of Moody's/ CO: ST: Massachusetts IN: SU: RTG


TQ-OS -- NY077 -- 4552 04/29/92 16:11 EDT
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Date:Apr 29, 1992
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