TOPEKA (KSNT) – A state’s fiscal health is a major indicator of how well it can serve its citizens. This past week, Governor Laura Kelly announced Kansas’ credit rating has improved. Fiscal experts say the trend is finally moving in the right direction after Kansas saw its credit rating downgraded four times between 2014 and 2017.

Similar to an average American, states’ credit scores can fluctuate depending on their spending and balancing of state budgets. On Tuesday, S&P Global upgraded Kansas’ credit outlook from stable to positive. This optimism is a result of the state balancing its budget and paying off Kansas public employees retirement system debt. 

27 news met with Kansas Director of Budget Adam Proffitt who says this is just one indicator that shows Kansas is on the right financial track.

“The outlook is really the trajectory that you are on,” Proffitt said. “So going from stable to positive means that the ratings agencies think we are doing a lot of good things in this state and our credit worthiness is improving.”

The state can’t take all the credit. Kansas businesses and residents contributed to the rating bump, as their tax dollars helped balance the budget.

In addition to her duties at the Kansas Statehouse, Sen. Marci Francisco is a small business owner. She credits the improving economic outlook to strong state leadership.

“Economic development is helpful to our communities and to our state,” Francisco said. “So we knew that this governor and her lieutenant governor, both are very focused on economic development throughout the state and this is just one more example.”

Proffitt says only two states, Illinois and Connecticut, saw their credit increase. Kansas’ current AA- rating is in the middle of state rankings and the same as California.

“It’s really both sides of the ledger,” Proffit said. “Credit rating agencies are notoriously slow to increase your score. They want to make sure that all of the good news we have today is going to continue.”

S&P Global warned that a Senate-approved flat tax plan could damage that score.