The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities rated Connecticut first among the 50 states in long-term budget planning.

The Washington-based think tank ranked all states by the degree to which they use 10 specific planning tools in its report, "Budgeting for the Future: Fiscal Planning Tools Can Show the Way."

On a scale of one to 10, Connecticut scored 8.5, just ahead of Maryland and Tennessee, which scored 8.0. Oklahoma and South Dakota scored the lowest, at 3.0.

The broad categories include a detailed roadmap of the budget's immediate and future effects on the state's fiscal health; professional and credible estimates; and mechanisms to trigger any needed changes during a budget year, to minimize damage.

"This report shows that Connecticut is taking the right steps to improve its overall fiscal stability," state budget director Benjamin Barnes said in a statement. "There is no question that we have more work to do, but the decisions we are making today ensure that we are on sound fiscal footing now and into the future."

Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's and Kroll Bond Rating Agency rate Connecticut's general obligation bonds AA, while Moody's Investors Service rates them Aa3.

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