S&P Global, a worldwide credit rating agency, announces an improved credit outlook for the State of Kansas.
S&P says the rating has improved to ‘positive’ from ‘stable,’ citing Governor Laura Kelly’s efforts to close the Bank of KDOT, balance the state budget, pay off KPERS debt, and achieve record-low unemployment rates. S&P also improved its credit outlook to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’ and affirmed its AA credit rating on the Kansas Department of Transportation’s highway revenue bonds outstanding. Governor Laura Kelly says this will be great news for Kansas’ budget and economic outlook. S&P cited Governor Kelly’s recommended budgets for fiscal years 2023 and 2024 as indicators of continued fiscal responsibility that could lead to a credit rating upgrade and warned against irresponsible tax plans that could lead to a credit rating downgrade.
Previous years saw the State of Kansas’ S&P credit rating and outlook downgraded four times between 2014 and 2017. 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 improved the state’s credit outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ in 2018 after lawmakers rolled back former Governor Brownback's tax experiment.