Credit ratings agency S&P announced last Friday that New Jersey’s credit outlook has been raised from “stable” to “positive,” a move that was applauded by Gov. Phil Murphy and State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio.
“We have come a long way from the days of missed or reduced pension payments, a startlingly low surplus, and ignored obligations,” Murphy said in a statement. “Not only have we gotten our fiscal house in order, we’ve fortified it and made good on our promise to taxpayers to strengthen the delivery of services and make New Jersey more affordable for everyone who calls it home.”
Murphy and Muoio credited the boost to the state’s two most recent budgets, which make full payments to the state’s long-beleaguered pension system – an important factor in credit ratings. Also helpful was a major influx of surplus money in this year’s budget that allowed for significant financial breathing room.
“We’ve made remarkable strides since the first days of this administration,” Muoio said. “Together with our partners in the legislature, we have reduced our bonded debt, built a strong, reliable surplus, and delivered what was once unrealistic – two consecutive record pension payments.”
The S&P upgrade is the latest in a series of two credit ratings boosts and five outlook upgrades from major rating agencies.