Gov. Steve Bullock (copy) (copy)

Gov. Steve Bullock called lawmakers for a special session to address lagging state revenues earlier this month.

Thom Bridge, Independent Record

The state of Montana has kept its AA bond rating with the ratings agency S&P Global Ratings. 

S&P Global Ratings has affirmed Montana's AA rating on general obligation bonds and kept the A rating on the state's Montana Facility Finance Authority's revenue debt.

"Maintaining that rating is key to the overall fiscal health of the state," Gov. Steve Bullock said Monday.

The state's credit rating can affect its ability to bond as well as impact the rates paid by local governments seeking to do projects.

 The affirmation comes after a special legislative session two weeks ago that addressed a projected $227 million shortfall in the state's budgets due to revenues coming in lower than projected.

In its report, S&P Global Ratings cited actions taken by the Legislature during the session to increase revenues, as well as cuts enacted by Bullock, as reasons it affirmed Montana's rating. It also noted the state's low tax-supported debt burden and rapid debt amortization and low unemployment, as well as its ability to make November payments.

That included a $120 million payment to K-12 schools, which was made Monday.

S&P Global counted as a negative the state's "softness" in revenue collections and recent weakening of revenues and the state's continued economic dependence on natural resources, agriculture, and tourism, with the oil and natural gas sectors particularly sensitive to commodity prices, as well as a low pension-funded ratio.

1
0
0
1
1

State Bureau reporter for The Independent Record.

Load comments