Governor Brewer reacts to S&P credit upgrade, calls it one more sign of recovery for State of Arizona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Matthew Benson

Standard and Poor’s Upgrades Credit Outlook for State of Arizona
Latest Indication that the Arizona Comeback is in Progress

PHOENIX – One of the nation’s largest credit ratings services, Standard and Poor’s, announced today that it has upgraded to “stable” its outlook on the State of Arizona’s fiscal condition. S&P also upgraded to “stable” its outlook on the State’s certificates of participation and lease revenue debt.

State of Arizona finances previously carried a negative outlook from the credit ratings service.

“This is fantastic news, and serves as one more indication that Arizona is on the comeback trail,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “The last three years haven’t been easy. But I’m happy to say that the difficult decisions I’ve made, together with the Arizona Legislature, have helped put this state back on solid financial ground. For the first time in years, Arizona has a growing economy and a state government it can afford.”

In announcing the credit outlook revision, S&P pointed to the State of Arizona’s diverse economy, continued population growth, moderate debt burden and expectations of a sizable budget surplus in fiscal 2012.

“We base the outlook revision on what we view as Arizona’s improving fiscal outlook,” S&P credit analyst David Hitchcock explained in today’s report.

The S&P announcement is just the latest sign of the state’s improving economy and financial position. In other recent news:

– Arizona added 12,800 jobs in November, driving down the state’s unemployment rate to 8.7 percent. The rate is the state’s lowest since February 2009.

– Arizona has added an estimated 45,800 jobs so far this year. The state’s job growth from October 2010 to October 2011 ranked 7th best nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

– State revenues continue to outpace projections, and the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting now estimates a combined surplus of $1.3 billion between the remainder of this fiscal year and next.

“Our mission isn’t accomplished, but today’s announcement from S&P is validation that we’re on the right path,” said Governor Brewer. “We’re going to keep state government small, efficient and effective, and continue working to put in place the conditions for private enterprise to flourish and grow. I believe that 2012, Arizona’s Centennial year, is going to bring more great news for the people of our state.”



  1. Just think of how great things would be if the Governor had kept her word and supported the Jobs Bill sent to her by the Legislature that the Wall Street Journal called the best economic growth legislation in the country.

    • Conservative American says

      Just think of how great things would be if Janet Napolitano were still in office and had to clean up her own financial mess instead of running off to Washington to see how many illegal aliens she can keep in Arizona.

  2. Well, there you have it. The work performed by the Arizona legislature and Senate President Pearce have the state in reverse from going down the California expressway. Our Republican-controlled legislature have taken a tidal wave of crap from various welfare dregs and the teacher’s union, but they did what was necessary and now the proof is in the pudding. A major factor in the recovery has been sending a 150,000 illegal aliens scrambling for greener pastures, reducing the budget-breaking overload on our schools and Medicaid. I challenge Arizona legislators, especially the “GANG OF NINE” (should they survive re-election bids), to burn their !%@!#! Chamber of Commerce crony cards and get back to work with MORE legislation to drive out another 150,000 illegals. Tell Cindy McCain to stick it!

    • DITTO!!!! And so much for the dregs of society banning the state. Who needs them?

    • Uh…no. Pearce had nothing to do with the budget when he was President. He sent Andy Biggs to do the heavy lifting for the Senate. Kavanaugh would have carried the water for the House, but he was pretty hands-off. The Governor got 90% of her Executive Budget plan enacted into law over the last 3 years. You can thank her for the S&P upgrade.

  3. Janet Napolitano (D) quit as governor, leaving the state in the red.
    Jan Brewer (R), completely overshadowed by the Napolitano presence, who unexpectedly had to step in the governorship, has steered the state back to solvency in three years. It did absolutely require cooperation with the legislature … but if it wasn’t that hard for Brewer to work with the state legislators to turn this around, then Napolitano could have done the same, but plainly she didn’t.

    Meanwhile, while Arizona’s fiscal situation improved under (R) leadership, other states continue to slide into the abyss…noticeably mismanaged by Democrats.

    It proves it’s not all that hard to get all of this sort of thing under control, despite the hysterical rhetoric of Democrats trying to panic people and make cover for the Democrats’ bad fiscal, programmatic and managerial decisions.

    • The legislature?? Did you forget that body lost two of it’s major (R) power leaders, Pearce and Bundgaard due to misbehavior? Pearce bragged about balancing the budget when in reality he and his buddies stole from some agencies to shore up others. The “Jobs” bill has hidden in it property tax increases on some homeowners. Bundgaard campaigned on helping businesses and creating jobs and it looks like the only jobs that were created were for lawyers defending him and his actions.

      ‘Gotta give Brewer credit for accomplishing something in spite of the recent Republican circuses.

      And no, I am not a Democrat.

  4. You’re attributing the economy to our state legislators? LOL

    This is all about Republicans positioning to argue IN FAVOR or making the 1% temporary sales tax hike permanent.

    They’ll claim “we’ll lose our credit rating if we dont.”

    They’ll say we need to finish the freeways (oops that was the last 1% temp sales tax increase that Republicans argued to make permanent.)

    Make no mistake, this is all to generate political cover for when Republican leadership comes out in favor of making that 1% tax permanent.

    What’s ironic about it is I remember visiting New York City in the 90s and thinking to myself how crazy it is to pay 10% in sales tax and thank goodness I live in AZ. Well RINOs have brought New York (thanks John Kavanagh – NOT) to Arizona.

    Things will not improve unless you OPPOSE RINOs all the time. They are not better than Democrats.

    • THe point was it really doesn’t take much at all to get out of the slide the Democrats seem to want everyone to be on. SO waht if it wasn’t perfect? It’s a start… and states like CT and IL and MA and CA are far worse then they were three years ago, and haven’t done anything, so it really IS something worth aknwoeledging.

      You always criticize and NEVR say ANYTHING constructive. You are NOT perfect. either and expect everyone to overlook your faults.

      • Sure I do. Vote NO on all taxing and spending increases. Vote YES on all tax reductions and spending reductions.

        THAT is positive and THAT is what is needed to ensure Arizona’s prosperity for its businesses and citizens through the 21st century.

        It’s the cynical big-government solutions that you support that lead you to believe that “there is a real role for government in the economy”. That’s what put us in this situation in the first place. And that’s what makes you a socialist big-government lover.

        In other words wanumumba, you are a RINO. You’ve always been one. You just try to mask it under some social conservative positions.

        • Bonjour Oberserve. Why are you still employing junior high grade name snark? Can’t discuss as adults? Too easy to complain without that icky thang called, “thinking?”

  5. Christopher Jacoby says

    This is great news, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that this is due to anything other than the natural revenue cycle on the upswing. A rising tide lifts all boats.

    Arizona has been a red state for a very long time and the influence of Dems in the long-term budgeting process has been minimal at best. I remember Russell Pearce and his groupies recently claiming credit for the improving Arizona economy, but sure as heck wouldn’t take any responsibility for the preceding downswing.

    • Can you point to a state in the U.S. that has not had a “downswing?”

      • Christopher Jacoby says

        Zoo: My point exactly. All states had a economic decline, some sooner (and later) than others. Many states’ economies are on the mend now, some sooner (and later) than others. It’s great that we’re on the upswing here now and it’s exciting to see people get back to work and companies start expanding (albeit slower than I’d like).

        Hooray for Arizona!

  6. This, of course, completely ignores the fact that Arizona’s outlook was downgraded while Brewer was Governor as well.

    But, given that it took place in February of 2011, a LONG 11 months ago, it’s understandable that Jan’s forgotten about that.

    (I’ll not bother with the extremely misleading headline this story was given).

    “New Jersey rating cut while Arizona outlook negative”

    Wed Feb 9, 2011 6:47pm EST

    “Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday cut New Jersey’s bond rating a notch due to an unfunded pension shortfall and high debt, while Moody’s Investors Service warned Arizona of a possible downgrade by revising its outlook on the state to negative from stable.”


    Moody’s Investors Service affirmed its Aa3 issuer rating for Arizona, but revised its outlook on the state to negative, citing uncertainty around its loss of stimulus dollars and its plea to get out from federal healthcare costs.

    Moody’s said it is concerned about a state sales tax increase that will expire and that it has doubts about Governor Jan Brewer’s request for a waiver from federal Medicaid rules to cut spending.

    Brewer is seeking a waiver from the U.S. government to suspend Medicaid eligibility for certain non-disabled adults. Savings from a waiver would provide $541 million to put toward Arizona’s $1.15 billion projected budget shortfall.

    “Approval of the waiver is beyond the control of state government and is uncertain in the current political environment,” Moody’s said in a statement.”

    • Is this the same Moody’s that stated that the United States could increase its creditworthiness by eliminating the debt ceiling? Moody’s has already been caught in bed with the Obama Administration. I would no more trust them than I could a paper that profits from the sex trafficking of minors.

      • The same Moody’s that lowered the US credit rating….while Obama was President.

        Yes, I’d believe they are in bed with the Obama administration.

        • It was the S&P that initially lowered the US credit rating, Moody’s was behind the curve if and when they actually ever did lower the US credit rating.

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