State gets good news on credit ratings

bshannon@theolympian.comJuly 25, 2013 

Two weeks after Moody’s Investors upgraded Washington public schools’ credit outlook, state government got similarly good news from two ratings firms.

The office of state Treasurer Jim McIntire announced Monday that Washington’s negative credit outlook rating by both Moody’s and the Fitch Group has been upgraded to stable, while three rating agencies — including Standard & Poor’s — all affirm the state’s solid credit ratings.

The moves come after lawmakers balanced the state’s books by passing a $33.54 billion budget in late June. Lawmakers closed a projected $900 million budget gap and earmarked almost $1 billion in funds for K-12 schools to address a Supreme Court ruling on funding.

Both Moody’s and Fitch downgraded the state’s outlook to negative in January 2012, but the stable outlook by Standard & Poor’s had held steady since 2007.

The state’s strong ratings (AA+ with two of the three major firms) has not changed.

Brad Shannon: 360-753-1688

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