Massachusetts intends to hold three negotiated bond sales through June totaling nearly $1.3 billion, state Treasury officials confirmed in their first investor call for the year.
The commonwealth has scheduled a $500 million negotiated sale of fixed-rate, tax-exempt general obligation bonds on April 6. The sale will include a refunding series and may feature an environmental green-bond component, deputy treasurer Sue Perez said Thursday.
"[Refunding] amounts are still being calculated," said Perez.
Massachusetts sold the first U.S. municipal green bonds in 2013, using the World Bank's 2008 deal as a model.
In May, Massachusetts intends to sell $250 million of Commonwealth Transportation Fund revenue bonds and the following month, it has scheduled a $525 million GO sale. Both negotiated deals are also tax-exempt.
Moody's Investors Service rates Massachusetts GOs Aa1. Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings assign an equivalent AA-plus. Moody's and Fitch assign stable outlooks while S&P's outlook is negative.
Gov. Charlie Baker touted the state's economy in his remarks to investors. He cited General Electric moving its corporate headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston, the expansion of IBM Watson and Amazon within the commonwealth and the expansion of Boston's Logan International Airport, which he said served 36 million passengers last year and has added 32 international destinations since 2010.
"This sends a clear and important message to the business and innovation community in that Massachusetts is a place where they can grow and build for the long term," said Baker.
The governor, who took office in January 2015, submitted a $40.5 billion fiscal 2018 budget to lawmakers on Jan. 25. Use of one-time revenues, said Baker, has dropped from $1.2 billion to roughly $100 million over three years.
The budget proposal includes a new mechanism for deposits into the stabilization, or rainy-day fund. Under the new system, Massachusetts this year would deposit $51.5 million into the fund on a before-deposit basis rather than wait for the distribution of excess capital gains tax revenues at the end of the fiscal year.
The commonwealth would also deposit an additional amount at the end of the fiscal year, based on actual tax revenues received over the tax revenue estimates in the enacted budget.
Massachusetts expects to release its five-year capital budget in the spring, said state budget secretary Kristen Lepore. Baker will recommend a 3% increase in the administrative bond cap to $2.26 billion.
A debt affordability in December had recommended that amount, which represents a $70 million increase in planned GO issuance over fiscal 2017.