April 6, 2016 |
Citing the likelihood of another impasse over the next state budget, Moody's Investor Services has affirmed its negative credit rating for the Philadelphia School District. Moody's highlighted the district's recent efforts to stabilize the finances of the city's schools. But the credit opinion released Friday said that the continued "Ba3" rating for the district's debt "reflects the continued uncertainty surrounding" the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and the potential impact it could have on the district's finances and ability to borrow money.
March 24, 2016 |
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the University of Pennsylvania's credit rating by one notch to its second highest level. The New York ratings agency, in a report published Monday, cited the West Philadelphia institution's growing wealth relative to peers, expected successful integration of Lancaster General Hospital into its health system, and limited borrowing plans. The new rating is Aa1, up from Aa2. Penn, which employed 37,149 in Philadelphia last fall, making it the city's largest private employer by far, has had steady gains in operating margins and what Moody's called "superior donor support with $322 million in gift revenue" in the year ended June 30. Among Penn's other strengths is net tuition per student of $37,465, a measure of cash paid after financial aid. That ranked close to the top of all U.S. universities, Moody's said, and was driven by professional programs in business, medicine, law, nursing, and education.
March 14, 2016
The spectacular failure of Gov. Wolf and the legislature to deliver a budget has put every home, business, and school in Pennsylvania at risk. Without a better resolution to Pennsylvania's nine-month budget crisis, there are only bad choices to make: Raise property taxes. Cut programs for the most vulnerable citizens - the elderly, disabled, and young. Lay off school workers, and perhaps shutter schools, before June. It's been weeks since legislative leaders and Wolf met face to face.
March 6, 2016 |
Pennsylvania is racing New Jersey to the bottom as Standard & Poor's considers another reduction in the Keystone State's credit rating. S&P has threatened to cut Pennsylvania's AA-minus rating for general obligation debt by one or more notches. In a report to clients this week, the agency cited the state's "failure to pass a budget package for fiscal 2016 that addresses long-term structural balance" - financial-analyst code for the state's seeming inability to agree on boosting its cash reserves or lining up pension-fund income with the relatively generous checks paid to hundreds of thousands of retirees.
February 22, 2016
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February 10, 2016
It's unfortunate for Pennsylvanians that they must put their trust in the same plodding politicians responsible for a record seven-month budget stalemate to work out their differences and reach an acceptable compromise. With taxes and spending for the current year unresolved, Gov. Wolf must present a proposed budget for next year, which he will do today. Both sides should use the occasion to commit to negotiating an agreement in days, not weeks. This has gone on too long. Perhaps Wolf should bring in an experienced negotiator who could help make a deal with Republicans that allows everyone to walk away knowing they put the state's best interests above any political considerations.
February 6, 2016
Harrisburg politicians seem trapped in a dream world where Pennsylvania doesn't have a deficit and the public is so in love with them that they can take their time reaching a budget agreement. In reality, the legislature has an abysmal 15 percent approval rating in a new Franklin and Marshall College poll, and Gov. Wolf isn't that much better at 33 percent. With a record seven-month budget impasse, it's no wonder that 67 percent of voters think the state is off the rails and that its biggest problem is its government.
December 26, 2015 |
When Moody's Investors Services downgraded the credit rating of the Philadelphia Corp. for Aging this week, it cited the tax-exempt organization's unwillingness to adjust to the lack of state funding during Harrisburg's nearly six-month budget stalemate. "I'm sorry, I'm not going to close programs," PCA's president, Holly Lange, said Thursday. "They can say I'm a poor manager, they can say whatever they want, I'm not going to close programs. " Instead, PCA has burned though a $10 million line of credit and a $4 million temporary increase in its credit line.
November 23, 2015 |
Excessive blood loss after childbirth is a leading cause of death for mothers if the bleeding is not caught in time. It's also a big cause of medical malpractice lawsuits. That's why a team of doctors, nurses, and others at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania worked through a simulation of postpartum hemorrhage on Tuesday with an actor posing as a live "patient. " "It mimicked the chaos" of real life, said Lauren Hughes, a nurse who participated in the training.
March 5, 2015 |
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services boosted Holy Redeemer Health System's credit rating by two notches, from the lowest investment-grade rating of "BBB-" to "BBB+. " The new rating was prompted by new credit rating criteria published by Standand & Poor's in December. Holy Redeemer received more credit for its relatively strong balance sheet - reflected in its strong cash position and its relatively low ratio of unrestricted assets to long-term debt - than it did under the old system.