A bond rating agency has lowered New Jersey's bond rating, meaning it could cost the state more to borrow money.

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Standard & Poor's announced its action Wednesday, saying the state still has a structural deficit even as the economy is improving.

The report blames the state debt, its pension obligation and one-time measures that cannot be sustained to fill budget gaps.

The general obligation rating was dropped to A-plus from AA-minus. The new rating means the state is still considered to have a strong capacity to meet debts but it is more susceptible to changes in economic conditions.

Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, says the state is trying to address all the concerns but needs lawmakers to agree to changes in the pension program for public employees.

 

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