"The rating agencies' affirmation of our strong bond ratings is continued validation that what Governor Patrick is doing here in Massachusetts is the right thing for the people of the Commonwealth. Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investor Services and Standard & Poor's all affirmed the Commonwealth's credit ratings this week at AA+, Aa1, and AA, respectively, with a stable outlook. As they have eight times during this global economic downturn, the three agencies cite the Governor's sound financial management as the Commonwealth's number one credit strength. The Governor's willingness to make the hard decisions necessary to keep the budget in balance allows us to continue to make critical investments in our schools, roads and bridges, public safety facilities and other important infrastructure at a significantly lower cost to taxpayers.

Fitch cites as the key driver in its bond rating 'continued timely action to ensure budget balance and maintenance of an adequate budgeted reserve position.'

Moody's lauds the Governor's multi-faceted approach to closing budget gaps, noting the Governor's 'willingness and ability to promptly identify and close gaps through use of both new revenues and spending reductions. Massachusetts has generally reacted quickly to identify and correct emerging gaps, using a variety of measures including spending down reserves, revenue increases, expenditure cuts, and use of federal stimulus and other onetime balancing measures.'

Continued proactive management has earned Massachusetts the confidence of the rating agencies, and Moody's says 'The outlook for Massachusetts is stable, based on expectations that the commonwealth will continue to quickly react to close emerging budget gaps as a result of weak revenues.'

Standard & Poor's also affirmed the state's stable credit outlook, saying it 'reflects Standard & Poor's view of the commonwealth's proactive approach to managing budget volatility through the recession. Revenue adjustments have been frequent and gap-closing actions have been swift, successfully restoring balance.'

While the global economic recession has presented significant challenges to nearly every state across the nation, the Governor's responsible leadership has made Massachusetts a leader in recovery."