This week, I am headed to New York City to meet with the credit rating agencies, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings. These annual meetings are an opportunity to show the agencies, which are responsible for rating Mississippi’s creditworthiness, all the things our State is accomplishing for economic development, education improvements, responsible budgeting, and more.
This fall, the State Bond Commission, which I sit on along with Governor Bryant and Attorney General Hood, will issue about $356 million in bonds for the State. This includes $50 million for roads and bridges, $113 million for our universities and community colleges, $145 million for economic development, and $39 million for other State infrastructure. These projects are authorized by the Legislature and the Bond Commission is tasked with issuing the debt in the most cost-effective way for Mississippi taxpayers.
Maintaining strong credit ratings is an important part of this process. Our current ratings are:
Standard and Poor’s AA Negative
Moody’s Aa2 Negative
Fitch Ratings AA Stable
The better our ratings, the better the price we can get on the debt we issue so strong ratings mean savings for Mississippi taxpayers.