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Fitch gives Kentucky bond rating a boost

Bond rating agency Fitch has given Kentucky its first rating upgrade in 13 years.

The upgrade was announced by Gov. Andy Beshear Thursday, who said it will have a number of positive knock-on effects for Kentucky.

"What this means is that we're going to pay a whole lot less in borrowing for big projects like the Brent Spence companion bridge, the I-69 river crossing, four-laning the mountain parkway all the way to Prestonsburg," Beshear said..

The governor said Fitch credits Kentucky’s "surging economy" and an improved pension system.

"I'm proud to announce that, because of the improved fiscal management of our team, recommendations that we made that the legislature took, putting extra dollars into the pensions when we've had these extra dollars," Beshear added. "Together, we've ensured that the pensions of every teacher, firefighter, police officer, and others in Kentucky are safer than they have been in decades.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky now has over 2 million people employed, a state record. Republican critics often note the state lags behind, however, when it comes to the workforce participation rate.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.