Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bo Watson said on Wednesday that he thinks Tennessee made a very strong case to continue to garner the highest AAA rankings from all three of the nation’s top credit rating agencies. Senator Watson joined Governor Bill Haslam, Comptroller Justin P. Wilson, Deputy Comptroller Jason Mumpower, Tennessee Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin, Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Treasurer David H. Lillard in meetings with the agencies this week in New York City. The group talked about Tennessee’s success as they made the case for the state to keep its AAA-rated excellent bond ratings.
“We presented a great financial story that I am optimistic will keep our top credit rating,” Senator Watson said. “We have been very conservative and responsible in our budget practices. Our pension plans are among the best funded in the nation, we have the lowest debt ratio of any state, and our reserves are at the highest level in state history. In addition, we have a very robust economy and low unemployment rate which is further strengthened by smart investments by the state in education, technology and infrastructure.”
Tennessee has been rated AAA by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services, and Standard and Poor’s since 2016. Watson said this is a reflection of the extremely strong confidence the rating agencies have in the state’s capacity to meet its financial commitments.