Md. Treasurer predicts state will keep AAA rating
Despite Maryland's close ties to the federal government, state Treasurer Nancy Kopp said today that Maryland's AAA score from Standard and Poor's is safe. The agency downgraded America's rating Monday for the first time in history.
Kopp said in a statement that she's “pleased" S&P will evaluate each state on a case-by-case basis and she believes "Maryland’s prudent fiscal management will be viewed positively."
Kopp said her office has been on contact with all three rating agencies and will continue to do so. She bases her optimism about S&P on word from a Standard & Poor's analyst who told her office: "There is no action on MD's rating," according to a news release from Kopp. The analyst is not named.
An accompanying report from S&P, however, does not sound quite as sunny. Speaking generally, S&P writers said that states "with relatively low levels of funding interdependencies with the federal government" would be safer. Maryland clearly does not fit that category.
But the folks at S&P said they'd look kindly states that keep their fiscal house in order -- and they do tend to put Maryland in the group.
Sun columnist Jay Hancock also analyzed the likelihood of a downgrade to Maryland's rating in today's Sun. He spells out some of the state's so-called "interdepedancies" with Washington: Maryland benefited from $80 billion in federal funding in 2009 and one of 18 MD jobs is directly connected to the federal government.