SACRAMENTO -- A top bond-rating agency has raised its assessment of more than $80 billion worth of California's debt, saying "the upgrades reflect our view of California's improved fiscal condition."
Standard & Poor's on Thursday hiked its evaluation of California's long-term debt one notch from "A minus" to "A."
S&P analyst Gabriel Petek said the new rating follows Gov. Jerry Brown's recently proposed balanced budget as well as spending cuts and voter approval last November of a $6-billion tax increase.
The California upgrade is the first by S&P since May 2006, before the severe recession of 2007-09, the state treasurer's office said.
The new rating is a reward for the California's s effort to make "a tough climb out of the hole," said state Treasurer Bill Lockyer. He credited Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators for making "decisions that have been tough and painful but correct."