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Missouri’s AAA credit rating helps save state $4.8 million in bond refinancing, Gov. Nixon announces

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED OCTOBER 2, 2013 BY THE OFFICE OF MISSOURI GOVERNOR JAY NIXON

Missouri’s AAA credit rating helps save state $4.8 million in bond refinancing, Gov. Nixon announces

Top credit-rating agencies credit Governor’s sound financial management and discipline in giving Missouri their highest marks

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that the State of Missouri will save a total of $4.8 million through bond refinancing made possible by the state’s strong fiscal discipline and spotless AAA credit rating.

The State Board of Public Buildings today gave final approval on the refinancing of the Special Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series A 2013. The refinancing will save the state $900,000 in the current fiscal year, and $4.8 million over the life of the bonds. So far this year, the state has issued three series of refunding bonds, for a total savings of $15.6 million.

“Once again, we are seeing the benefits of Missouri being given the highest marks by the three top credit rating agencies,” Gov. Nixon said. “Our strict fiscal discipline and balanced budgets have meant lower interest rates and reduced principal, which in turn, has translated into millions in savings for taxpayers.”

Last week, all three leading credit rating agencies – Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s – confirmed Missouri’s perfect AAA credit rating and cited the constitutional authority of the Governor to rein in spending and keep the budget in balance throughout the year.

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services wrote that “the ‘AAA’ GO rating on Missouri reflects our view of the state’s very strong budget management framework, including substantial statutory budget flexibility to maintain strong reserves and structural budget balance.” S&P noted Missouri’s “strong and diverse economic base; very strong budget management framework; strong reserves;” and “moderate debt burden.”

Moody’s Investors Service wrote that Missouri’s perfect rating “is based on its history of excellent financial performance and sound reserve levels, strong fiscal management controls, and the state’s moderate debt burden.” Moody’s went on to note that Missouri’s “constitution provides strong executive powers to respond to revenue shortfalls, including the ability to reduce spending to below appropriated levels.”

Fitch Ratings wrote that “Missouri has a long record of conservative operations and has consistently displayed a willingness and ability to support fiscal balance. The state’s financial flexibility and liquidity position remain healthy, supported by strong revenue performance in fiscal 2013 and reserves that remain fully funded throughout the recession.”

On Tuesday (Oct. 1), the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge to the Governor’s constitutional authority to keep the budget in balance.

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