Lamont: Credit ratings boost a sign CT is fixing 'sins of the past'

Photo of Peter Yankowski

Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday highlighted the state’s credit rating boost from three independent agencies this week, but said Connecticut’s continued financial recovery is dependent on not taking on large-scale spending projects or tax increases.

On Thursday, S&P Global announced it was upgrading Connecticut’s bond rating to A-plus. Kroll announced that same day it would bump the state’s bond rating to AA. And on Friday, Fitch announce it was upgrading the state’s bond rating to AA-minus.

The news came six weeks after Moody’s Investors Service announced it was upgrading Connecticut’s bond rating from A1 rating to Aa3— the first time the state’s credit rating had improved in 20 years.

In a statement Friday afternoon, the governor called the announcements “validations that our administration is putting Connecticut on the right track.”

Despite “negative headlines” around the state’s financial position, he said the ratings were “even more proof that we are seeing sustained progress by addressing the sins of the past and investing in the future of this great state.”

He also highlighted the state’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing “common-sense measures” he said kept residents safe while keeping the state’s economy running.

But Lamont also indicated a lack of appetite for large spending projects or tax increases. “Now is not the time to disrupt the fragile economic and financial environment by levying large-scale tax increases or creating massive new spending programs,” he said. He emphasized paying down the state’s long-term debt and “foster(ing) growth.”

In a statement released alongside the governor’s, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw said the new ratings show “we are moving in the right direction.”

She also emphasized paying down the state’s long-term debt obligations and keeping new debt in check.

“It is a reminder that in order for us to move ahead, we must keep our focus on investment and sustainability in the years and decades to come,” her statement said.