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KS Credit Downgrade Dampens GOP Celebration

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and other Republicans held a short rally in Topeka to celebrate their Tuesday night primary victories. But Wednesday's celebration was clouded by news that yet another agency had downgraded the state's creditworthiness.

Joined by fellow Republicans who also won their primaries, Governor Brownback urged the party faithful to promote what he calls the "Kansas Economic Comeback." 

"We've got more jobs in Kansas than ever in the history of the state," he says. "And that's what people's number one concern is, is they want jobs, they want a healthy economy, and we're creating that in the state of Kansas."

But when the pep talk ended, reporters started peppering the governor with questions about the latest bad news. On Wednesday, the credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's announced that it had lowered the state's bond rating. In May, another company--Moody's--did the same thing. 

In this exchange provided by the Lawrence Journal World (LJW), the governor dismissed the downgrade:

Brownback: "The bond-rating agencies don't like you cutting taxes." LJW: "But the bond-rating agencies are concern about whether you repay the bonds to investors." Brownback: "We will repay the bonds to investors. These are still high-grade bonds. Look at the ratings that they've put us at."

In its report, Standard & Poor's said that Kansas would probably need to cut future spending in order to offset the income tax cuts engineered by the governor and implemented by the legislature.