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Moody's gives Oklahoma improved credit rating in wake of rainy day fund growth

Kateleigh Mills

Moody’s Investor Service says Oklahoma’s credit rating is looking better.

Moody’s had previously said the state had a stable credit rating. They upgraded that to positive in mid-October.

The upgrade signals that Oklahoma’s state government is in a good position where it can honor its debts, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

In a statement sent to reporters, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Treasurer Todd Russ credit the state’s strong rainy day fund.

"Moody's updated credit rating recognizes that Oklahoma's economy is booming under a conservative approach to governance," Stitt said in a statement.

“Oklahoma is positioned well to perform among the top in the nation in the months and years to come,” Russ said in the same statement.

The fund has ballooned following an influx of federal money over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. It currently has about $1.6 billion.

Some critics — like the Oklahoma Policy Institute — have suggested the rainy day fund has gotten too big, as the state has neglected some services to grow it.

It’s the second credit rating improvement in recent years for Oklahoma. S&P Global Ratings gave the state a positive outlook last summer.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

Robby grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Journalism degree. Robby has reported for several newspapers, including The Roanoke Times in southwest Virginia. He reported for StateImpact Oklahoma from 2019 through 2022, focusing on education.
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