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August 6, 2021

Press Release
Ohio’s Bond Rating and Outlook at Highest Level in 42 Years

Ohio’s Bond Rating and Outlook at Highest Level in 42 Years

OBM Announces Robust Monthly Preliminary Revenue Data

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced today that Fitch Ratings, citing the state’s superior financial resilience, affirmed the state’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at “AA+” and elevated the state’s outlook to Positive from Stable. The “AA+” rated (Positive) outlook indicates the state’s low default risk and is one notch below Fitch’s highest credit quality rating of “AAA.”

“Fitch’s decision to upgrade Ohio’s bond rating outlook to Positive is proof that the state of Ohio’s financial management is solid and our economy is surging forward. We took the hard and necessary steps to do what is right for Ohioans, and for our communities. And we are seeing results. Ohio is the first, and so far the only, ‘AA+’ rated state to have its outlook elevated to Positive by one of the three major ratings agencies since the pandemic began,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Ohio is the best state to grow your career, to expand your business or to start a new one, and to raise a family.”

“An improved bond rating outlook is a message that Ohio is managed well, it is a great place to invest and has a bright future,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “It’s just another piece of evidence that Ohio and the Ohio economy are strong as we emerge from the pandemic and prepare for the future.”

“This rating outlook change is strong third-party validation of Ohio’s robust financial position and of Governor Mike DeWine’s proactive management of the state’s finances and economy throughout the turbulent global conditions caused by the pandemic. The decisive actions taken by Governor DeWine starting in February of 2020 to protect Ohioans and control state government spending, prioritizing saving lives to save our economy, worked,” said OBM Director Murnieks.

The Fitch report states, “Outlook revision to Positive from Stable reflects Ohio’s sustained trend of balanced finances and growth in reserves that strengthens the state's financial resilience as it confronts cyclical economic and revenue trends.” The report further cites Ohio’s “superior financial resilience that allowed it to absorb the immediate budgetary effects of the economic downturn.”

The rating action is Fitch’s first change in 11 years when Ohio’s IDR was upgraded from “AA” to “AA+” in 2010. This action represents the highest rating level for Ohio’s IDR by any of the three main rating agencies since 1979.

In connection with the IDR update, Fitch also rated an upcoming issuance of $56.5 million State of Ohio (Treasurer of State) Series 2021A Capital Facilities Lease-Appropriation Bonds (Cultural and Sports Facilities Building Fund Projects) as “AA” Positive outlook and affirmed the ratings and revised outlooks to Positive on Ohio’s “AA+” General Obligation bond rating, “AA” on outstanding appropriation-backed bonds, the “AA” Ohio School District Credit Enhancement Program Rating, and the “A+” PPP Grantor Counterparty rating assigned to the Ohio Department of Transportation's Portsmouth Bypass project payment obligations.  

The Fitch report citing Ohio’s superior financial resilience is available here.

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March 19, 2021

Press Release
Ohio Debt Refinancing Saves $46 Million

Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced that the Ohio Public Facilities Commission (OPFC) in partnership with OBM’s Capital Markets Team completed the sale of $597 million of Common Schools and Higher Education bonds. 

The sale supports capital projects at K-12 schools, colleges and universities around Ohio. The transaction included a $148 million refinancing of debt issued in 2011 and 2013 and will produce $46 million of cash flow savings between fiscal years 2021 and 2033.

The sale priced with an all-in-interest rate of 2.02% and the State achieved attractive pricing as a result of its strong credit ratings (AA+/Aa1/AA+), sizable investor demand generating 5 times more orders than supply, and a low rate environment.

Bank of America Securities served as senior managing underwriter with Loop Capital Markets serving as co-senior manager. Acacia Financial Group, Inc provided Financial Advisory services.

“This spring deal accelerates our year of recovery, which allows for additional support to Ohio’s communities and economy. On behalf of Governor Mike DeWine, OPFC, and OBM, we have achieved measurable results in the marketplace,” said OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks. 

Governor DeWine serves as Chairperson of the OPFC while the OBM Director serves as Secretary. Additional members include representatives from the Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.

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June 26, 2020

Press Release
Ohio Achieves $363.6 Million in Cash Flow Savings for Fiscal Year 2021

Ohio Achieves $363.6 Million in Cash Flow Savings for Fiscal Year 2021

Largest deal in Ohio history underwritten by minority business enterprise

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced today that the Ohio Public Facilities Commission (OPFC) closed the sale of State of Ohio General Obligation debt in a remarkable transaction that achieved hundreds of millions of savings and was led by a minority-owned firm.

Loop Capital Markets served as senior managing underwriter on the Ohio Public Facilities Commission $780 million refunding transaction. Acacia Financial Group, a certified Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council, served as Financial Advisor. Morgan Stanley & Co served as co-senior underwriter. Additional syndicate members included BofA Securities, Citigroup, Huntington Securities, Inc., J.P. Morgan, and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

This historic collaboration of public and private sector partners produced $363.6 million in cash flow savings for fiscal year 2021 at an extremely advantageous interest rate of 1.54%, which is among the lowest rate of OPFC debt issued to date. The sale was also the largest conducted with a minority-owned underwriting firm and with a women’s business enterprise.

“This global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our communities and economy. However, on behalf of Governor Mike DeWine, OPFC, and OBM, we have secured a notable success in the marketplace. We are particularly proud to report that a minorityowned business enterprise led part of this achievement,” said OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks.

Governor DeWine serves as Chairperson of the OPFC while the OBM Director serves as secretary. Additional members include representatives from the Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, and Attorney General’s Office.

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February 10, 2020

Press Release
Refinancing of Veterans Bonds Generates Savings for Ohio Taxpayers

Refinancing of Veterans Bonds Generates Savings for Ohio Taxpayers

Ohio Office of Budget and Management and Ohio Public Facilities Commission announce $2.0 million in savings

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – The Office of Budget and Management announced today that it has completed a $25 million refunding of outstanding debt related to the Veterans Compensation Bonds issued in 2010 and 2011. The refunding, prompted by current favorable levels of interest rates, saves Ohio taxpayers $2 million and lowers the cost of borrowing to 1.83% from 4.59%.

“Similar to how thousands of Ohioans take advantage of lower interest rates to refinance their homes, the state of Ohio refunds bonds to lower its payments.  The Office of Budget and Management is always looking for ways to reduce the state’s future debt service obligations for taxpayers.”  Director Kim Murnieks_._

The Bonds, formally issued by the Ohio Public Facilities Commission, were authorized by voters in 2009 to make payments to eligible military veterans or to their surviving immediate family. In the past, such payments have been made to those who served in Operation Desert Storm and Iraq, and eligibility continues for those who serve in Afghanistan.

The Department of Veterans Services oversees the program. Interested individuals are encouraged to visit www.veteransbonus.ohio.gov for more information.

Additional Resources:

  • For additional information about State of Ohio debt management, please view the Bonds and Investors page.

  • Visit the Office of Budget and Management news and events page and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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September 15, 2019

News
Record Low Financing Rate Will Save Ohio Money

Ohio issued $300 million dollars in bonds to finance school construction receiving a 20-year financing rate of 2.35% - its lowest ever.

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