After spending a day and a half meeting with credit rating agencies in New York, Governor Phil Bredesen says the state made a good case for raising Tennessee’s bond rating.
In 2000, the state lost its triple-A rating, the highest bond rating available, because for three consecutive years, the legislature spent one-time money on recurring expenses.
The message Bredesen says he took to New York is that the state has righted its financial ship.
“The things we’ve done, I want to say particularly with the budget, so far getting the rainy day fund up where it is, getting the budget under control, you know, running four surpluses in a row, and having good bi-partisan budgets and that kind of stuff, I know that has a very positive effect on the view a lot of people have on the state.”
Bredesen says it would be nice to restore the state to a triple-A rating before the end of his tenure, but it’s more likely that the state will earn a double- A rating from all the agencies.
Bredesen says a higher rating wouldn’t just be a third-party pat on the back, but would also translate into lower interest rates and would be better for Tennessee business.