WASHINGTON - Voter-approved initiatives curbing budgeting authority in several big states could undermine the credit ratings of future bond issues. Standard & Poor's Corp. warned yesterday.

The warning was directed at state and local credits in California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Florida.

"At this time, the approved initiatives do not present formidable restrictions on these governments, but could result in changed credit ratings or rating outlooks at a later date if municipalities fail to respond adequately and in a timely manner," the rating agency said in a press statement.

Approval of Constitutional Amendment 1 in Colorado, which places restrictions on general government operations, carries the most damaging effects of the initiatives that won approval, the rating agency said.

By contrast, it went on, Michigan and Idaho voters rejected similar measures and have sustained the ability to respond flexibly to fiscal problems."

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