March 21, 2019

Lamont leads CT debt 'road show'

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Connecticut state Capitol in Hartford.

Connecticut's governor, treasurer and other senior officials have begun a four-city "investor road show,'' pitching the state's upcoming $850 million debt issue and its economy as good investments.

The offices of Gov. Ned Lamont, Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden and Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw announced they held Wednesday the first of four private meetings with investors in Hartford in advance of the sale of general obligation (GO) bonds to finance state projects and programs.

The road show resumes Thursday, with an investor meeting in Chicago; Friday in Boston; and Monday in New York City.

The bonds will be offered to retail investors on a priority basis on Wednesday, March 27, and then offered to institutional investors on March 28. The bonds are due to close on April 11.

S&P Global Ratings last week affirmed its "A'' rating to the state's approximately $18.3 billion outstanding GO debt, and an "A-'' on its appropriation-backed debt. S&P projected the state's financial outlook as "positive.''

"This positive change in Connecticut's credit outlook is another significant step in the right direction that is drawing notice on a national level," Wooden said in a statement. "The next step is to follow through on plans to address our current economic challenges and continue building a stable foundation for future growth and financial sustainability."

The planned road show will provide Lamont more opportunities since his November election to pitch to Connecticut insiders and outsiders not only his fiscal agenda for improving the state's current and future financial health, but his evolving economic-development agenda.

Lamont, with some input from state budget-setters, has proposed a "lean debt diet'' for the state in the wake of years of aggressive borrowing by his predecessors. He also has charged administration aides with finding ways to improve the efficiency and quality of state programs and services they oversee.

Chief among the governor's revenue-raising objectives is the implementation of tolls on certain Connecticut interstates and major bi-ways.

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