Shapiro Administration Adopts Commonwealth’s First Debt Management Policy, Building on Sound Fiscal Management of First Year in Office

As part of the Shapiro Administration’s ongoing commitment to responsible fiscal management, the new debt management policy will help the Commonwealth with long-term financial planning and provide guidelines for the structure of debt issuance.


During the Shapiro Administration’s first year in office, all three major credit rating agencies either positively revised the Commonwealth’s ratings outlook or increased its rating – affirming that the Commonwealth’s funds are well managed.

Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Shapiro Administration Secretary of the Budget Uri Monson released the Commonwealth’s first-ever debt management policy, continuing the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to responsible fiscal management of taxpayer dollars. Debt management policies provide written guidance regarding the authorizations and requirements for issuing debt, guidelines to consider when determining the amount and type of debt to be issued, and guidelines for the management of the debt portfolio, providing the Commonwealth and the public with predictable, consistent policies.

The new policy identifies clear policy goals for the issuance of debt by the Commonwealth within the legal frameworks for issuing Commonwealth new funding and refunding, as well as specific guardrails to ensure that decisions to issue debt are made within a context of fiscal stability and responsibility. Specifically, the new policy outlines how the Commonwealth may issue debt, authorize and issue General Obligation (GO) Bonds, use GO Bond proceeds for capital projects, and more.

“Governor Shapiro’s sound fiscal management during our first year in office is saving the Commonwealth and our taxpayers millions of dollars – and this new debt management policy will help us ensure that we are continuing to set the Commonwealth up for long-term financial success,” said Secretary of the Budget Uri Monson. “Because Pennsylvania is considered to have low outstanding levels of debt and because we are significantly below our legal borrowing limit, this new policy will provide guardrails that further restrain our use of all of that capacity to ensure we do not borrow too much, even if we are legally allowed to do so.”

The Government Finance Officers Association recommends that “Governments adopt comprehensive written debt management policies that reflect applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.” The policy announced yesterday is the first of its kind for the Commonwealth.

Yesterday’s policy announcement is the latest affirmation that Pennsylvania’s economy is strong under Governor Shapiro’s leadership and that his Administration’s sound fiscal management is setting Pennsylvania up for long-term success.

In December, Secretary Monson announced that the Commonwealth conducted a successful bond sale of approximately $1.3 billion in new GO Bonds, saving taxpayers nearly $100 million on debt service savings over the life of the bonds.

During the Shapiro Administration’s first year in office, all three major credit rating agencies affirmed the Commonwealth’s responsible budgetary management:

  • In November 2023, Fitch Ratings upgraded Pennsylvania’s credit rating to ‘AA’ from ‘AA-‘ as the result of a growing economy, balanced 2023-24 budget, and responsible financial management by the Shapiro Administration since taking office.
  • In September 2023, Moody’s reaffirmed Pennsylvania’s Aa3 issuer credit rating and upgraded the Commonwealth’s rating outlook to positive from stable, affirming that Pennsylvania’s economy and budgeting practices are strong and setting the Commonwealth up for long-term success.
  • In September 2023, S&P Global Ratings improved Pennsylvania’s outlook to ‘positive’ from stable and affirmed its A+ long-term rating on the Commonwealth’s GO bonds.

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