In a few days, we will be marking one-year in office.
Today, I was pleased to announce that the work we've done to rebuild our economy is paying off. A few days ago, the State of Hawai'i successfully sold $1.28 billion of General Obligation Bonds. This latest financial action is the result of the culmination of work by the Abercrombie Administration to restructure its debt and create a solid financial foundation.
What this means to you, the taxpayer, is that we are lowering the amount of debt that the State has in the future. Gone are the days where we kick the fiscal can down the road. We are picking it up and facing our financial obligations to make our economy better and ensure economic stability and growth. We are lowering the State's deficit.
This means businesses in Hawai'i can be confident in moving forward on projects that were on hold because the State's economy was not looked upon as a favorable place to invest.
The tough decisions, many of which were considered unpopular, have attracted major investors, and the resounding success of our recent historic bond sale is the result.
Following the transaction, Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's Ratings Service and Fitch Ratings affirmed the State's credit ratings of Aa2/AA/AA. Standard & Poor's commented, "Governor Neil Abercrombie's willingness to implement aggressive solutions, totaling $1.32 billion, to balance the fiscal 2011-2013 biennial budget in light of a projected budget shortfall that had reached $1.25 billion for the biennium."
Moody's further cited the State's "historical fiscal conservatism" because all of Hawai'i's General Obligation debt is issued at a fixed rate, and repayment is relatively rapid with 95% of principal repaid in 15 years. In addition, Fitch affirmed that the State's "financial management is sound."
My administration used our reserves to help pull us through the last fiscal year. I am happy to report that we will be paying back those monies to the Hurricane Relief and the Rainy Day Funds.
I made the commitment to invest in education and rebuild our economy, sustain our Hawai'i for future generations and restore public confidence. We are sticking to our game plan and it is working.