Raleigh, N.C. All three major bond rating agencies-Moody's Investor Services, Standard and Poor's and Fitch Ratings-have assigned an AAA bond rating, the highest rating possible, to North Carolina's first issuance of the $2 billion Connect NC bond. Approved overwhelmingly by two-thirds of North Carolina voters in March, the Connect NC bond will provide much needed statewide investments in education, parks, agriculture, the National Guard and water and sewer infrastructure.
"This rating further validates North Carolina as one of the top states for business with one of the fastest growing economies in the country,"
said Governor McCrory. "Our pro-growth economic policies, coupled with a long history of responsible financial management, have positioned North Carolina as one of only ten states with a pristine AAA bond rating from all three major rating agencies."
Rating agencies attribute the strong bond rating to North Carolina's continued and diverse economic expansion, ample reserves and long history of conservative financial management.
Under Governor McCrory, North Carolina has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. Since 2013, unemployment is down in all 100 counties and the private sector has added more than 275,000 jobs.
When Governor McCrory entered office, the state's savings reserve account, also known as the rainy day fund, had been depleted to $419 million, or 2.2 percent of the budget. Through fiscally responsible budgeting, the rainy day fund has been restored to an all-time-high of more than $1.6 billion or nearly 7 percent.
The Connect NC bonds are expected to sell by the end of July.
About Connect NC
The Connect NC bond will invest $980 million into the state's 17 universities. The vast majority of these improvements will build facilities that will improve teaching and research in the science, technology, engineering and medical fields. An additional $350 million will go to the community colleges, primarily for new construction, repairs and renovations on its 58 campuses.
Another $309.5 million will be awarded to smaller cities and towns to build and repair water and sewer systems. These investments are crucial to retaining and attracting new jobs outside of the state's metro areas.
Agriculture and consumers will also benefit from Connect NC. Approximately $94 million will be spent to construct a new Agriculture and Consumer Sciences Lab for veterinary, food, drug and motor fuel testing. An additional $85 million will go toward a new Plant Sciences Research Complex at NC State University.
The National Guard will receive $70 million to rehabilitate Regional Readiness Centers in Burke and Wilkes counties as well as construct a new readiness center on Guilford County. Another $9 million will go toward the completion of the Samarcand Corrections and Law Enforcement Training Center in Moore County.
To improve North Carolina's quality of life and help preserve the state's environment and natural beauty, the Connect NC bond will invest $75 million into our state parks. An additional $25 million will go the North Carolina Zoo for upgrades to service support facilities, trails and exhibits.
- Contact: Crystal Feldman