Gov. Beshear: Second Major Credit Agency Gives Kentucky a Boost

First-time rate improvement from S&P means lower costs for taxpayers, secure public pensions

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 29, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that his administration has secured a second credit rating increase from a major agency, this time from S&P Global Ratings.

In general, the rating is a measure of the state’s ability to pay debts and the overall health of Kentucky’s economy. The Governor said the increased confidence in Kentucky’s financial outlook will mean lower costs for taxpayers on the state’s investments in critical infrastructure projects, like roads, bridges and schools. It also means that public employee pensions are more secure.

“This is good news for Team Kentucky as we show everyone that our economy is booming, our pensions are strong and our fiscal house is in order due to strong management and smart choices that put our people first,” Gov. Beshear said. “This rating increase benefits every Kentucky family because it means every taxpayer dollar goes further toward the projects that are making a difference in our communities.”

The agency said the A to A+ upgrade reflects the state’s commitment and execution of efforts to strengthen budgetary flexibility and long-term financial stability. The report also highlighted Kentucky’s strong economic trends, emphasizing continued investments and job creation in the auto industry. The A+ rating is supported by Kentucky’s sustained trend of structural balance within the budget, with operating surpluses that have led to the largest rainy day fund in state history, totaling $2.7 billion, and strong pension funding for public servants.

This is the second rating increase for Kentucky over the past two months. In May, Gov. Beshear secured the first-ever state-level credit rating upgrade from major credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, which moved Kentucky’s rating up from AA- to AA.

In addition, last month Kentucky jumped to No. 1 in the South Central Region for 2023 in national economic development rankings from Site Selection magazine.

This upgrade from S&P Global Ratings enhances the state’s growing economic momentum.

The Governor has secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of 46,300 full-time jobs and roughly 860 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling more than $26 billion in announced investments.

The Governor also recently announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Right now, Kentucky has nearly 57,000 more jobs filled than before the pandemic and has had more than 2 million total jobs filled – the most in our state’s history.

The Governor has also secured the second- and third-best years for new wages.

Through strong fiscal management, Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history – all while lowering income taxes for Kentuckians.