Tuesday in New York, Governor Phil Bredesen asked bond rating agencies to bump Tennessee back up to a AAA status.
He’s preparing to take out several new bonds to pay for things like bridge work and incentives for businesses locating in the state. The rating affects how much interest the state would have to pay.
Tennessee lost its AAA rating nearly a decade ago, and has been fighting to get it back ever since.
Bredesen says this round of meetings with the rating agencies went well. He says they complimented the state for beginning to look several years ahead when crafting the year’s budget. And he says the makeup of the state’s delegation drove home a claim he’s tried to make every year: that Tennessee is a place where partisanship doesn’t get in the way of budget matters.
“Frankly, having your Democratic governor and administration and three Republican constitutional officers who obviously like each other and work well together and so on was a real plus in the way we present ourselves.”
The state’s three constitutional officers were Democrats until this year. When the GOP took control of both the state House and Senate, they replaced the secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer with Republicans.
Currently Tennessee’s bond rating is the second-highest available. While he’s hoping for a move back up to the top rating, Bredesen says remaining at AA+ would not cause any problems.