Governor Steve Bullock today announced Montana’s sterling bond rating of ‘AA+’ has been renewed by Fitch Ratings due to the state’s fiscally prudent budgeting practices.
“Our efforts to maintain a balanced budget and make investments in Montanans’ priorities of education, health care and infrastructure are paying off,” said Governor Bullock. “As we approach the legislative session, this is a good reminder to all policymakers that we must preserve our state’s fiscal health by responsibly investing in areas to grow and diversify our economy while keeping enough money in the bank for a rainy day.”
In their rationale, Fitch wrote, “Montana's 'AA+' IDR is based on its diverse economic base, solid growth prospects, low liability position and conservative financial practices...the state's consistently conservative approach to fiscal management has enabled it to maintain steady operating performance, address spending priorities for education, health care and infrastructure, and begin to build formal reserves. Increased economic diversification in recent years provides support for the Stable Outlook.”
In November 2017 Governor Bullock called lawmakers back for a special legislative session to shore up the state’s budget shortfall caused by less than anticipated revenues and a costly fire season. Bullock worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance the budget through a mix of spending reductions, fund transfers and temporary revenue enhancements.
Governor Bullock will continue to insist on budgeting practices in the 2019 Legislative Session that have maintained Montana’s credit ratings. He has outlined in his 2021 Biennium Budget three guiding principles to ensure fiscal responsibility by leaving a meaningful reserve for a rainy day, not spending more than we take in, and making fiscally prudent and sustainable investments to benefit Montanans for generations.