Citing “strong fiscal governance” and “strong fiscal management practices,” the nation’s top credit rating agencies agree that the work of Washington’s budget writers should result in the state maintaining its strong credit ratings.
Moody’s (Aaa), S&P (AA+) and Fitch (AA+) pointed to Washington’s fiscal management, forecasting system and high budget reserves among the reasons for their decision to award the state strong credit ratings in their latest assessments. (Read the Moody’s report here)
Washington has retained a top credit rating among states despite pandemic-related challenges to the global supply chain and inflationary pressures.
Senate and House budget writers and leadership issued the statements below in response to the great fiscal news:
Sen. David Frockt, Ways & Means Vice Chair:
“Why is our state’s credit rating important? Higher credit ratings mean the state pays lower interest rates to people who lend us money for infrastructure projects by buying state bonds. That saves Washington taxpayers money.”
Sen. Christine Rolfes, Ways & Means Chair:
“Maintaining the top financial ratings in the nation is a solid indicator that our state’s economy is historically strong and moving in the right direction. Washington has always been one of the best places in the world to live, and this news is a tribute to the hard-working people of the state, our strong and dynamic economy, sound fiscal stewardship and responsible budgeting practices.”
Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig:
“This is further proof that investing in schools, the environment, healthcare and other programs critical to Washington families and small businesses, while maintaining healthy reserves, is the definition of fiscal responsibility. Our economy is among the strongest and most resilient in the nation because our budget writers put people at the center of every decision and that’s clearly the right approach.”
Rep. Timm Ormsby, House Appropriations Chair:
“We’ve worked hard to protect the taxpayers of Washington state by budgeting carefully and putting 10 percent or more into reserves. This also means saving money, as our state can borrow for less when issuing bonds to build schools, colleges, bridges, and other vital infrastructure. It’s more good news for Washington as we recover from the pandemic.”
House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan:
“Our budget team was confident this historic supplemental budget not only makes sure our recovery serves everyone, but is drafted responsibly on behalf of the people of Washington. It’s great to see credit rating agencies and our state Treasurer agree that this was a fiscally responsible approach to moving our state forward.”
State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti:
“I appreciate the legislature partnering with our office to increase pension funding and returning reserves to pre-pandemic levels. Along with other strong financial governance, this led to a reaffirmation of our strong credit following the legislative cycle. The people of Washington benefit when the legislature and our office are able to work together to achieve sound financial objectives.”