NJ Spotlight: New Jersey Gets Lowest Rating Among States for Recession Preparedness

A new report from a major Wall Street credit-rating firm finds New Jersey still ranks at the bottom of the 50 states when it comes to being ready for the next recession even after recent attempts to boost its budget reserves.

While most states were ranked as at least moderately prepared for an economic downturn, only New Jersey and Illinois received the lowest-rung, “weaker” rating in the analysis issued yesterday by Moody’s Investors Service.

The firm’s findings didn’t lead to a change in New Jersey’s “A3” credit rating, but they are also not a ringing endorsement of the status quo and could serve as a wake-up call for lawmakers just weeks before they are due to send Gov. Phil Murphy a spending bill for the next fiscal year.

The response to the Moody’s report in Trenton yesterday was mixed. State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio suggested the findings bolster her recent calls for further boosting budget reserves and raising new revenue from a proposed millionaire’s tax. But Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who recently introduced proposals for major public-worker benefits cuts, said they underscore his own calls for lowering spending.

Read the full report here.