Michigan budget director John Nixon said the positive ratings actions from rating agencies last week were the "culmination of two years' work."
"They're showing that Michigan has a positive future," Nixon said in a video produced by the governor's office. "Michigan used to be in crisis management, and now we're in the driver's seat, and creating an environment where people can live and prosper."
The state comes to market this week with $200 million of general obligation school loan fund bonds. Ahead of the deal, Fitch Ratings upgraded the state to AA from AA-minus, while Moody's Investors Service affirmed its Aa2 rating and revised its outlook to positive from stable. Standard & Poor's also revised its outlook on the state to positive from stable and affirmed its AA-minus rating.
Nixon said the actions means lower borrowing costs and gives Michigan citizens "assurances from a third party" that the state is on the right path.
When Gov. Rick Snyder took office in 2010, the state had only $2 million in its rainy day fund as well as a $1.5 billion structural deficit and growing retirement liabilities, Nixon said.
Now Michigan has more than $500 million in its rainy-day fund as well as a structurally balanced budget. Recent legislative changes have also reduced the state's retirement liabilities, he said.
"It's a different Michigan that ratings agencies are looking at today," said Nixon.