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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
August 13, 2010

Texas Notes Earn Wall Street's Highest Ratings

(AUSTIN) — Wall Street bond raters have given their highest possible ratings to $7.8 billion in short term notes Texas will sell to fund public schools at the beginning of the new school year.

“I am pleased with the very high ratings Texas has received, a clear reflection of our economic performance compared to other states,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “With the economic challenges we have weathered and the slow recovery under way, bond rating firms remain confident in our credit-worthiness, due to factors like our state’s conservative management of taxpayers’ dollars and our foresight in building up the state’s Rainy Day Fund.”

Texas’ 2010 Series Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) are rated SP-1+ by Standard & Poor’s, MIG 1 by Moody’s Investors Service and F1+ by Fitch Inc.

In assigning its highest rating, Fitch analysts noted, “The F1+ rating reflects sound legal protections from set-asides, good coverage for each set-aside payment, substantial borrowable resources and a history of conservative economic and revenue assumptions.”

Moody’s Investors Service said, “In the context of Texas’ tight cash flows, the legal structure of the note repayment mechanism and the Comptroller’s strong legal controls over cash management are particularly key elements of the short-term rating.”

Since 1987, Texas has used short-term TRAN notes to fund public schools and meet other cash flow needs between the Sept. 1 start of the fiscal year and the arrival of tax revenues later in the year.

The TRAN sale will take place Tuesday, Aug. 24, from 9–10 a.m. CDT at www.trantexas.com. The notes will be repaid on Aug. 31, 2011.

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