The state of Delaware has received the highest possible rating for its anticipated sale of General Obligation Bonds for the sixth consecutive year.
Gov. Ruth Ann Minner announced on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, that Delaware is one of only seven states nationally to receive a AAA rating from the Standard and Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch rating agencies.
The ratings come in anticipation of the sale of General Obligation Bonds on Wednesday, Jan. 7.
"When I took office, nine states had a Triple-A rating from all three rating agencies," Gov. Minner said. "Three years later, that number has dropped to seven. This is one more indication that the tough decisions made by our administration and the General Assembly to hold down spending and make government more efficient were viewed positively by the impartial financial experts of Wall Street. This reaffirmation of the state's Triple-A bond rating will save our taxpayers thousands of dollars in future interest payments."
The rating agencies singled out Delaware's strong performance during the national economic recession compared to other states.
"The outlook is stable, reflecting the expectation that the state's prudent financial and debt management practices will lead to continued sound financial operations," stated the Standard and Poor's commentary. "Delaware's economic diversification has played a central role in its relatively stable economic performance, leading to a comparably mild recession with less employment (dislocation) and revenue dislocation than most states during the past year."
State Representative Joseph DiPinto, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, participated in the presentations on December 17 that were used by the rating agencies to determine their evaluation.
"The financial world obviously views Delaware as one of the best fiscally managed states in the nation," Rep. DiPinto said. "I believe this can be attributed to the independent revenue forecasting by the Delaware Economic Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) and continued bipartisan working relationship of the General Assembly."
More than 92 percent of the proceeds from the upcoming sale will be dedicated to capital improvement investments in public schools and higher education institutions. Other projects benefiting from this sale include libraries in Newark, Seaford and Milton, as well as beach preservation.
"Our citizens have recently passed a number of referenda showing their commitment to making long term investments in education," Gov. Minner said. "This upcoming bond sale will now fund that investment and provide our educators with the resources they need."
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