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OREGON $42.9 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Oregon's $42.9 million State Board of Higher Education General Obligation Baccalaureate Bonds, 1993 series A, are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The state's $4.8 billion outstanding 'AA' general obligation bonds are affirmed. The credit trend is uncertain.
 The bonds are expected by negotiation the week of Oct. 11 through the Bank of America N.T. & S.A. and U.S. National Bank of Oregon. The issue includes $38.0 million noncallable deferred interest bonds due Feb. 1 and Aug. 1 1994-2000 and Aug. 1, 2001-2013, and $4.9 million current interest term bonds maturing Aug. 1, 2023 and subject to mandatory sinking fund redemption. Call provisions for the current interest bonds are not yet determined.
 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, higher than the May forecast. 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 legislative ballot measure establishing a 5% sales tax dedicated to education and expected to generate $1.2 billion will be voted on in November which, if approved, would substantively enhance the revenue component of the budget. The state's ability to achieve orderly implementation of the budget shift and manage growth pressures within the reduced governmental scope remains a major factor in future evaluations.
 -0- 10/8/93
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/


CO: ST: Oregon IN: SU: RTG

SM -- NY054 -- 0260 10/08/93 15:14 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1993
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