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US Public Finance

Global Home > US Public Finance

FY18 Median Ratios Show Widening Credit Gap; Strong Fundamentals for U.S. Higher Ed

Fiscal 2018 ratios show a more bifurcated sector and widening credit gap among U.S. universities and colleges, with higher-rated institutions getting stronger and lower-rated entities facing more operating, leverage and demand pressures, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.

Fitch Downgrades Vermont's IDR to 'AA+'

Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'AA+' rating to the following State of Vermont general obligation (GO) bonds:

  • $84 million GO bonds, 2019 series A (competitive);
  • $41 million GO refunding bonds, 2019 series B (Vermont Citizens Bonds) (negotiated).

Fitch has downgraded the following ratings for the state of Vermont:

  • Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'AA+' from 'AAA';
  • Outstanding GO bonds to 'AA+' from 'AAA';
  • Outstanding Vermont Municipal Bond Bank (VMBB) bonds issued under the 1988 general resolution rated by Fitch to 'AA-' from 'AA'.
Webinar on Demand

U.S. Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Loan Program Rating Criteria'

Listen to Laura Porter and Mikiyon Alexander for a summary of Fitch’s consolidated master criteria report titled ‘U.S. Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Loan Program Rating Criteria'.


Speakers:
Laura Porter - MD, Regional Group Head, US Public Finance
Mikiyon Alexander - Director, US Public Finance

 

Listen Now

Coal Power Pressured Despite Affordable Clean Energy Rule

The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new Affordable Clean Energy rule has a limited near-term effect on public power issuers and will not change the long-term pressure on most public power utilities to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. 

Texas HB3 Boosts State K-12 Funding, Reduces Local Tax Rates

The recent increase in state aid to Texas school districts will provide a short-term boost to district revenue growth, but Fitch Ratings is concerned about the sustainability of the higher funding level over time. Fitch does not expect the funding changes to trigger immediate rating changes for Texas school districts. 
 

U.S. Managed Lanes Speeding Past Projections

Performance is exceeding projections for eight managed lanes that are currently up and running, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest peer review for U.S. managed lane projects. Strong performance led to Fitch upgrading two SR-91 express lane projects in Southern California.

Webinar on Demand

Texas SB2 May Impact Local Government Ratings

June 13, 2019 and 3:00PM EST

Texas legislature recently approved and sent to the governor Senate Bill 2, which will reduce local government control of property tax rate increases for operations. While not expected to trigger a significant number of rating actions immediately, Fitch will discuss the potential impact on local governments.
 

Listen Now  |  Read Press Release

Webinar

ESG Relevance Scores for US Public Finance, and Infrastructure and Project Finance

Now Available On-Demand
 

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are increasingly important for investment decisions, which is why Fitch has introduced ESG relevance scores to show relevance and materiality of ESG to ratings.

 

Speakers:

Laura Porter – Managing Director, US Public Finance (Moderator)

Andrew Steel – Managing Director, Sustainable Finance

Sara Anzinger – Director, Sustainable Finance

Michael Rinaldi – Senior Director, US Public Finance

Scott Zuchorski – Managing Director, US Infrastructure and Project Finance

Glaucia Calp – Managing Director, LATAM Infrastructure and Project Finance

 

Listen Now

U.S. College and University Rating Criteria Finalization

Fitch Ratings has published the final, revised version of its sector-specific criteria report titled "U.S. Public Finance College and University Rating Criteria" following the Nov. 15, 2018 exposure draft and a period for market feedback.

U.S. Public Power Rating Criteria Finalization

Fitch Ratings has published the final, revised version of its sector-specific criteria report titled "U.S. Public Power Rating Criteria" following the June 14, 2018 exposure draft and a period for market feedback. These criteria, and the adopted revisions, will facilitate a more forward-looking, predictable approach to ratings and better highlight differences among credits in the same category.

Webinar on Demand

Evaluating KCI’s Airport Modernization Program

Kansas City International Airport’s obligation bonds ‘A’, outlook stable. Fitch will discuss the key risks it evaluated in its analysis of KCI’s nearly $1 billion debt issuance.

Speaker:
Scott Zuchorski – Senior Director, Global Infrastructure and Project Finance

Seth Lehman – Senior Director, Global Infrastructure and Project Finance

Jeffrey Lack – Director, Global Infrastructure and Project Finance

 

Listen Now

New Jersey OPEB Liability Approaches Magnitude of Unfunded Pensions

New Jersey's recently released annual financial (CAFR) and debt reports for fiscal 2018 disclose a large increase in the state's liability for other post-employment benefits (OPEB), which Fitch Ratings believes is sizable in the context of its relation to state personal income and elevated liability burden for outstanding debt and unfunded pensions. 

April Revenue Positive for US States; Sustainability Unclear

US states' revenue data through the key tax collection month of April indicate generally positive results for widely varying reasons, but continued revenue volatility brings into question the sustainability of the positive trend.

webinar

U.S. State & Local Pension Investments - Concerns Grow with Riskier Allocations, Lower Returns

Now Available On-Demand
Fitch’s webinar discusses our recent report on U.S. state and local pension investment portfolios. We discuss the trend of public pension plans increasing their investment allocations in riskier asset classes over the past two economic cycles, raising their potential volatility and exposing participating governments to higher funding risks, including potentially higher contributions.

WhyForum

Why Patient Consumerism Will Further Define U.S. Not-For-Profit Healthcare

“Consumerism” is no longer a new buzzword for not-for-profit healthcare but rather a concept that will radically overhaul healthcare delivery over the longer term.

Strong Economy Continues to Propel California's Budget

The updated budget proposal for fiscal 2020 continues to build budgetary resilience, while also increasing spending on education and social welfare programs. The budget revision takes advantage of strong revenue collections in the current fiscal 2019 and a $1.7 billion increase in the forecast for fiscal 2020.

Introducing ESG Relevance Scores for Public Finance and Infrastructure

ESG factors generally have a low level of direct impact on public finance and infrastructure credit ratings. However, governance is the most influential ESG risk factor across the overall ratings portfolio. This was driven by public finance issuers, which is not surprising given that factors such as political stability, creditor rights, financial transparency, governance structure, government independence and control of corruption are important considerations in our credit rating process. 

DownloadOur ESG Relevance Scores

Watch VideoIntroducing ESG Relevance Scores - An Update for Public Finance and Infrastructure

US Infrastructure Needs Federal Funding Commitment

Any US federal government plan for renewing infrastructure will need to provide for consistent, continued federal funding and more diverse funding sources to fully address the infrastructure deficit.

FAST

U.S. Water and Sewer Utilities Rating Criteria Revision

To more clearly communicate credit opinions and facilitate a more forward-looking, predictable approach to ratings, Fitch Ratings has revised its U.S. Water and Sewer Rating Criteria. These revisions will facilitate a more forward-looking, predictable approach to ratings and better highlight differences among credits in the same category.

On Demand Webinar

Proposed Changes to U.S. Water & Sewer Utilities Rating Criteria

Please join us for our discussion of the proposed changes to Fitch’s  U.S. Water and Sewer Utilities Rating Criteria. Key points include:

  • Summary of proposed changes
  • Key rating drivers
  • How to provide your feedback

Listen  Now

Illinois' Revenue Picture Improves but Fiscal Questions Remain

Robust revenues collections for April provide some short-term budgetary relief for Illinois, but significant uncertainties remain regarding structural budget balance, including for next year, says Fitch Ratings.
 

Opioid Lawsuits to Have Small Effect on State, Local Budgets

States and local governments are taking legal action to recoup costs related to the opioid crisis but potential litigation awards may not fully account for the budgetary outlays

Highlight Report

Higher Risk Not Translating to Similar Returns for U.S. Pensions

U.S. state and local pensions have taken on riskier asset allocations in recent years, though the rate of return is paling compared with the higher risk according to Fitch Ratings in a new report which is freely available for a limited time. 
 

Webinar

10 Years in Ports – Americas

Now Available On-Demand

 

Fitch will host a webinar to discuss how ports have performed over the past decade, how this may change in the coming decade, and what challenges the sector faces going forward. This discussion will focus on trends in the Americas as well as globally.

Speakers:
Emma Griffith
Senior Director, Global Infrastructure Ratings
Isabella MagalhaesAssociate Director, Global Infrastructure Ratings

Listen Now

Congestion Pricing Will Provide Reliable Revenue to MTA

Planned congestion pricing in New York City (NYC) will provide a reliable funding source for Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) capital improvements but how significant the revenue source will be depends upon the toll policy instituted

Webinar

Fitch’s Response to First Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Special Revenue Protections


Now Available On-Demand

Fitch hosted a webinar to discuss our response to the March 26, 2019 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit regarding the bondholder protections provided by special revenue status under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
 

Listen Now

Fitch Places Seven USPF Special Revenue Ratings on Negative Watch Pending Court Decision

Seven U.S. Public Finance ratings on Rating Watch Negative in response to the March 26, 2019 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit regarding the bondholder protections provided by special revenue status under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. 

Rating Sensitivities will Indicate Vulnerability to Special Revenue Bond Ruling

In response to the March 26, 2019 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit regarding the bondholder protections provided by special revenue status under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, Fitch Ratings has developed rating sensitivities corresponding to the likelihood and severity of potential rating changes resulting from a final court ruling upholding the decision.

Contacts

Dan Champeau

Global

Dan Champeau

Analytical Group Head

+1 212 908 9188

Laura Porter

US

Laura Porter

Head of Public Finance

+1 212 908 0575

Ann Flynn

Global

Ann Flynn

Business Group Head

+1 212 908 9152

Jack Archibald

US

Jack Archibald

Business - Fees

+1 212 908 0664

Dennis Pidherny

Revenue-Supported - Public Power and Water & Sewer

Dennis Pidherny

Managing Director - Public Finance

+1 212 908 0738

Arlene Bohner

Tax-Supported – U.S. States and Local Governments

Arlene Bohner

Senior Director – Public Finance

+1 212 908 0554

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