Westfield Newsroom

Top 3 bond rating agencies give state high marks

BOSTON (AP) — The nation’s top three bond rating agencies are giving Massachusetts a clean bill of fiscal health.
State Treasurer Deb Goldberg said yesterday that Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch have maintained their ratings for the state and affirmed stable economic outlooks ahead of Massachusetts’ next competitive bond offering.
The state has held its current rating — one notch below the top possible rating and the highest in state history — since September 2011.
The ratings are largely based on four factors: the state’s economy; financial position; debt and financial management; and long-term liabilities.
While Massachusetts has relatively a high level of debt, that’s due in part by the heavier role the state takes in the financing of local projects, often handled at the county level in other states.
“Maintaining the Commonwealth’s already exceptional bond rating is critical to protecting taxpayer dollars and enhancing the fiscal stability of our state,” said Goldberg. “The rating agencies continue to recognize our strong economic prospects and prudent fiscal management.”
“I am pleased that the rating agencies have recognized our decisive and effective actions on the Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 budgets and the experienced team we have assembled to lead the Commonwealth’s fiscal management,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our cooperation with the Legislature, Treasurer, and other state officials has led to a strong fiscal foundation for our economy. Maintaining the highest bond rating in the Commonwealth’s history will provide the access to capital markets we need to begin executing our capital budget plan.”
“Three positive reviews of our bond rating is a great day for the Commonwealth. We will continue to grow our economy and invest in our future,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).
“Massachusetts’ fiscal prudence, timely budgets and inventive yet responsible investments have resulted in the highest bond rating in the state’s history,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “This standing has made Massachusetts a national economic leader and will position the Commonwealth as a top competitor both here and abroad.”

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