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Rating Action:

Moody's Downgrades New Jersey School Bond Reserve Act (Chapter 72) to A3; Outlook Stable

04 Apr 2017

New York, April 04, 2017 -- Summary Rating Rationale

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the programmatic rating on the New Jersey School Bond Reserve Act (Chapter 72) to A3 from A2 and revised the outlook to stable from negative. Concurrently, Moody's has downgraded to A3 from A2 the sale level ratings for all outstanding debt enhanced by Chapter 72.

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBM_PBM195256 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and identifies each affected issuer.

The A3 rating reflects the program's high leverage relative to guarantee commitments, the strong credit quality and security features of New Jersey school district debt guaranteed by the fund, and state constitutional limits on distributions from this fund solely for the purpose of the program participants. The rating also reflects the somewhat unclear timing provisions and mechanics for guarantee payments, as well as strong legal mechanics for timely reimbursement to the program if any guarantee payments are made. No guarantee payments have been required in the history of the program.The rating is effectively capped by the weaker of the credit quality of the State of New Jersey (A3 stable) or the credit quality of the Chapter 72 pool participants.

Rating Outlook

The stable outlook reflects the stable outlook on the state's underlying rating.

Factors that Could Lead to an Upgrade

Improvement in the credit quality of the State of New Jersey or of the average credit quality of New Jersey school districts

Strengthening of the reserve's legal framework and mechanical protections

A substantial decrease in the reserve's leverage level

Factors that Could Lead to a Downgrade

Continued declines in the credit quality of the State of New Jersey or of the average credit quality of New Jersey school districts

An increase in the reserve's statutory leverage level

Weakening of the reserve's legal framework

Failure of the reserve program to function as intended

Legal Security

The program is constitutionally protected and the mechanics are set by statute. The program is used to enhance the bonds issued by New Jersey local governments for educational purposes. The bonds are enhanced by a reserve fund that benefits from various replenishment mechanisms, including a state pledge to replenish, a state aid intercept, and the pool member obligation to repay any funds borrowed from the program.

Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

Obligor Profile

The New Jersey School Bond Reserve Act (Chapter 72) guarantees debt service on general obligation bonds issued by New Jersey public school districts, as well as debt issued by New Jersey counties and municipalities for educational purposes.

Methodology

The principal methodology used in the program rating was U.S. State Revolving Fund Debt published in March 2013. The principal methodology used in the sale level ratings was Rating Transactions Based on the Credit Substitution Approach: Letter of Credit-backed, Insured and Guaranteed Debts published in December 2015. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

Regulatory Disclosures

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Douglas Goldmacher
Lead Analyst
Regional PFG Northeast
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street
New York 10007
US
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Orlie Prince
Additional Contact
Regional PFG Northeast
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

No Related Data.
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