FITCH RATINGS AFFIRMS PENNSYLVANIA’S RATING AT AA-MINUS

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s general obligation bonds remained at AA-minus yesterday (December 5) when Fitch Ratings released its latest ranking, according to Senate Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh).

Fitch Ratings stated “Overall, the state’s economy provides a solid base for future potential revenue growth to help manage ongoing expenditure pressures.”

The Fitch report comes in contrast to a report released back in September of this year from Standard and Poor’s that downgraded Pennsylvania’s bond rating a notch to A-plus, citing, in part, the state’s out-of-balance budget during the stalemate with the Governor and the General Assembly over a revenue package.

Since the Standard and Poor’s report, the General Assembly enacted multiple pieces of legislation to provide the required revenue to balance the $31.99 billion General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18, which was passed in June of this year.

“This affirmation of the Commonwealth’s general obligation bonds at AA-minus reinforces the reason it was vital for the General Assembly and the Governor to close on a completed Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget and bring our books into balance,” Senator Browne said. “The downgrade by Standard and Poor’s, which happened while a final budget agreement eluded the state, highlighted the dangerous position the Commonwealth was in without a balanced budget and with lacking recurring revenue options. This is a critical point we need to keep in mind as we head into the next budget cycle.”  

Fitch Ratings is a global leader in credit ratings and research and part of the Fitch Group, which is a global leader in financial information services with operations in more than 30 countries.

 

Contact:          Matt Moyer     717-787-1319, mmoyer@pasen.gov