Governor Phil Bryant and Treasurer Lynn Fitch met with the three major bond rating agencies in New York last week.
“The rating agencies have expressed concern over our dependence on one-time funds to balance the budget,” Gov. Bryant said. “We let them know the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget ends that trend and puts us on a better fiscal path.”
The visits to Standard and Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor Services are part of the focus on maintaining a good economic and business climate in the state. The Governor and Treasurer want to ensure that Mississippi is known as a job friendly state and is fertile ground for capital investments.
“We have some positive news to share with the rating agencies that should help protect Mississippi’s solid credit rating.” Treasurer Lynn Fitch said. “The Treasurer’s office completed the state’s first Debt Affordability Study this year and we are launching my statewide Treasurer’s Education About Money (TEAM) initiative, to change the financial culture of Mississippi. Our state leaders are committed to maintaining our status as a good investment for lenders.”
Although Mississippi currently has superior ratings, the Governor and Treasurer are convinced that those ratings can be improved. Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services, and Standard and Poor’s rate the state’s general obligation bonds as AA+, Aa2 and AA respectively.
Treasurer Fitch added, “It is important to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and to manage the issuance of bonds in a fiscally conservative way to maintain our favorable rating.”