BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Treasurer John Kennedy says state officials, seeking to stave off a downgrade to Louisiana's credit rating, asked a national rating agency to give Louisiana time to clean up its budget mess.

Moody's Investors Service notified the state its rating committee will meet later this week to decide whether to drop Louisiana's credit rating.

Kennedy said he, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols and the chairmen of the legislative budget committees held a conference call Wednesday with Moody's to urge against the downgrade.

Moody's issued a "credit negative" report last week that said Louisiana has a "structural deficit" in its budget.

Louisiana has a $1.6 billion budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1, much of it tied to the use of patchwork, non-recurring funds to pay for ongoing services.


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