UPDATED: Haslam: External factors could sway Tenn. credit - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATED: Haslam: External factors could sway Tenn. credit

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By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Concerns over federal spending decisions could play a larger role in determining Tennessee debt rating than what Gov. Bill Haslam called the state's positive story on how it manages its finances.

Haslam led a delegation to meetings with the three major ratings agencies in New York this week. The Republican governor told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that the agencies were impressed by Tennessee's low debt level and its management of TennCare expenses.

Pending federal spending reductions are a major factor that the state can't control, though Haslam said the delegation argued that Tennessee is no more vulnerable to cuts than other states.

Haslam said the agencies also appreciated that each state agency has drawn up contingency plans for federal cuts of 15% and 30%.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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