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Wall Street Bond Firm Gives New Hampshire Negative Outlook

A Wall Street firm is downgrading New Hampshire's bond outlook from stable to negative, but at the same time affirmed the state's high bond rating.

Standard & Poors revised its outlook Monday, citing a recent lower court ruling that a hospital tax generating $185 million in revenue a year was unconstitutional. Standard & Poors said the amount is significantly higher than the state's $9 million in savings. The firm also noted that the public pension fund has a large unfunded liability.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Tuesday the announcement reinforces the need to address the tax issue and its implications for the state budget. Senate President Chuck Morse said the revised outlook also shows the need to put more into savings and to address the pension system's unfunded liability.

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