published Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Tennessee bond outlook is improved

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    Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville

NASHVILLE — Moody’s Investors Service has revised Tennessee’s bond rating outlook from negative to stable.

In a news release, the bond rating agency said outlooks for Tennessee and South Carolina, which both had been slapped with negative outlooks in August, “were revised to stable to reflect their relatively lower levels of financial and economic exposure to the U.S. government.”

Moody's also upgraded its outlook for Hamilton County government from negative to stable.

This summer, Tennessee, South Carolina and several other AAA-rated states, as well as 161 local governments, were assigned negative outlooks.

Outlooks for Maryland, New Mexico and Virginia remain negative due to “high concentrations of federal government employment and federal procurement,” Moody’s statement said.

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, noted Moody’s revision of Tennessee’s outlook during a meeting of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

“We’re apparently the healthiest horse in the glue factory,” Norris joked.

Gov. Bill Haslam later tweeted “more positive news on TN's credit ratings: Our outlook has been revised from negative to stable by MoodysRatings.”

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about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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