Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), accompanied by state legislators from both parties, will fly to New York Friday to meet with the nation’s three bond-rating agencies and try to convince them to keep the state’s stellar credit rating.
McDonnell proposed setting aside $50 million to offset future cuts in federal aid and doubling the amount in the state’s rainy day fund to $600 million. He asked his jobs commission and state economic development officers to look for ways to diversify an economy that relies heavily on federal contractors and the military, particularly in Northern Virginia.
Moody’s Investors Service confirmed the state’s AAA rating last year, but Virginia was put on a watch list while the agency evaluated the state’s finances, following the unprecedented downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.
McDonnell will be joined on the day-long trip by House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R); Del. Lacey Putney (I), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; Sen. Charles Colgan (D), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Sen. Thomas Norment, Republican leader in the Senate; and Sen. Walter Stosch (R), who is widely expected to be the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Governors regularly meet with bond rating agencies. McDonnell went on a similar trip last year.