Fitch Ratings Releases First Kansas
Credit Rating at AA, Citing Fiscal Responsibility Championed by Governor Kelly
TOPEKA— Today, Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency, released its first credit rating for the State of Kansas. Citing Governor Laura Kelly’s fiscal responsibility, including efforts to pay off debt, balance the budget, and increase Kansas’ Rainy Day Fund, Fitch announced Kansas’ Issuer Default Rating (IDR) as AA with a stable rating outlook.
“It’s clear that our laser-sharp focus on growing the economy, paying off debts, and balancing the budget is setting Kansas up for long-term success,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Fitch Ratings’ announcement today is great news for Kansans. I will continue to prioritize fiscal responsibility as we work to cut taxes for working Kansans.”
In its report, Fitch cited Kansas’ sustained trend of balanced budgets, bolstering the Rainy Day Fund, and responsible spending as indicators of long-term fiscal responsibility that contributed to the high credit rating. This rating is higher than the most recent credit rating Kansas received, AA-, from S&P Global in February 2023.
“This AA credit rating is affirmation that the path the state has taken to restore stability, predictability, and overall health to the state’s finances is the right path to be on,” said Budget Director and Secretary of Administration Adam Proffitt. “It’s a testament to the work done by Governor Kelly and the Legislature to put the state on solid footing.”
Prior to Governor Kelly’s administration, the State of Kansas’ credit rating and outlook was downgraded four times between 2014 and 2017 by S&P Global. The state’s credit rating was downgraded from AA+ to AA in August 2014, put on a negative credit watch in 2016, downgraded again to an AA- in the same year, and the outlook downgraded from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ in 2017. S&P Global improved the state’s credit outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ in 2018 after lawmakers rolled back the Brownback tax experiment.
Fitch Ratings’ report can be found here.