Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut have the least capacity to withstand a moderate economic recession that would challenge their heavy, tax-supported debt loads, Standard & Poor's found in a stress test of 10 states' 2016-2017 budgets. Washington, Florida and New York are best-positioned among the 10 states included in the report issued Tuesday and titled "Fiscal Resilience Among U.S. States Varies as Economic Expansion Surpasses Seven-Year Mark." California, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin made up the middle rankings. S&P rates Illinois' credit at BBB+, three notches above junk. S&P has an A rating on New Jersey's general-obligation bonds but with a negative outlook, meaning a downgrade could follow. Pennsylvania's AA-minus rating also carries a negative outlook. S&P cut Connecticut's rating to AA- from AA in May but maintained a stable outlook.
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