NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam said today he feels "very positive" about the status of Tennessee's top-rated debt as he wrapped up two days of meeting with New York bond-rating agencies.
"They recognize we do have a strong history of fiscal responsibility," Haslam told reporters in a telephone conference call.
But he said the state won't know for sure whether it will maintain its high ratings until next month.
The governor, Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes, legal counsel Herbert Slattery, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Treasurer David Lillard, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Secretary of State Tré Hargett met this week with executives from Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's and Fitch's.
Ramsey later posted a statement on his Facebook page, saying "we believe that Tennessee is clearly a AAA state and we told the folks at Fitch's, Standard & Poor's and Moody's just that. The evidence we presented is truly overwhelming."
A major topic was how the state would deal with major budget cuts at the federal level. Standard & Poor's recently downgraded U.S. government debt and Tennessee wants to keep all three agencies from downgrading their assessments of Tennessee's triple-A ratings.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.