For Immediate Release - February 04, 2011

Commonwealth Gets Bond Rating Upgrade

Just days before the state of Massachusetts heads into the financial markets with a $146 million bond offering, State Treasurer Steve Grossman's office got some good news from Standard and Poor's. The state's bond rating has just been raised from "AA with a stable outlook" to "AA with a positive outlook." A "positive outlook" means that the state's bond rating has a likelihood of increasing in the coming year.

If the positive outlook leads to a full rating upgrade, the state's borrowing costs would be lowered, potentially savings taxpayers millions of dollars in the future. Treasurer Steve Grossman said: "This news reaffirms how prudent, responsible and sound our newest pension reform efforts have been. Addressing the state's long term obligations, while nurturing and maintaining the ongoing economic recovery is a careful balancing act, but with this upgrade, you can see that the reforms we are undertaking are already paying dividends"

All three major ratings agencies weighed in today in anticipation of a general obligation refinancing bond offering next Wednesday. Moody's rated the bonds as "Aa-1 stable" and Fitch gave them an "AA + stable."The next step up for Massachusetts in the Standard and Poor's rating system would be an "AA+." Only 14 states have earned that rating.