Oklahoma credit rating threat is without merit, state officials say

Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, contends a bond restructuring requested by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education could jeopardize the state’s credit rating and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
by Kathryn McNutt Modified: March 15, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: March 15, 2014
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A warning by Sen. Patrick Anderson that a refinancing plan requested by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education could jeopardize the state’s credit rating is without merit, state officials said.

The regents’ request to the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to restructure their debt service on revenue bonds issued in 2010 is based on advice from the state Bond Advisor’s Office, regents spokeswoman Angela Caddell said.

Without the debt restructuring, an additional $10 million will be needed each year for the next four years to meet the debt payments, Caddell said.

Anderson, R-Enid, contends state law would allow the action only during periods of “financial distress.”

“If OCIA goes forward with this plan and declares that the State of Oklahoma is in ‘financial distress,’ it will have a devastating impact on our state’s bond rating and could cost Oklahoma taxpayers millions,” Anderson said in a news release.

“That is entirely off base,” said John Estus, spokesman for Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger, who is a member of the Capitol Improvement Authority.


by Kathryn McNutt
Higher Education Reporter
Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from...
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