During a meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott announced that $3.5 billion in state-debt has been paid down. The announcement came on the heels of a recent report by bond rating agency Moody's entitled "Florida Back on Track." Moody's assessment of Florida says that "revenues are growing and the economy is improving." Revenue trends, year-end surpluses and other revenue indicators show that Florida is back on track. Moody's says that the "current financial and economic strengths underscore Florida's resilience and sound fiscal management."
Governor Scott said, "Two years ago unemployment and state-debt were up, while housing prices were down. To grow jobs, we cut taxes, cut burdensome regulations, made strategic investments and made state government more accountable to taxpayers. The results are in -- and IT'S WORKING. Moody's has given credit to our management of taxpayer dollars, and we've paid down $3.5 billion in state debt, which won't burden our future generations."
According to the Division of Bond Finance, by reducing total debt by $3.5 billion, costs related to servicing the debt has decreased by $6.9 billion since 2010, which over time has freed additional resources for state priorities. Refinancing debt at historically low interest rates has also contributed to lower debt service payments. The State has refinanced $2 billion in debt during fiscal year 2013 generating $500 million in debt service savings.
Moody's believes that Florida's employment growth is expected to outpace the nation due to the favorable climate, low cost of living and strong economic fundamentals. Florida's 2013 employment growth is expected to increase 1.9 percent surpassing the national rate of 1.3 percent and remain higher than the nation over the next few years.