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Maryland retains triple-A bond rating

Maryland’s triple-A bond rating has been re-affirmed by the three major rating agencies.

Gov. Martin J. O’Malley announced the ratings from Fitch, Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s Tuesday, a week after he and the Board of Public Works voted to make $84 million in cuts and fund transfers in the budget year that began July 1.

“Fiscal responsibility, and taking a balanced approach to investments and cuts, are essential to strengthening our economy,” O’Malley said in a statement.

Maryland is one of seven states to maintain the highest credit rating throughout the recession that began in 2007.

O’Malley, in his statement, credited the continued rating to his efforts to reduce state spending. Since 2007, the state has made $9.5 billion in cuts at the same time his budget grew from $29.6 billion to the $39 billion proposed in January.

In January, O’Malley told reporters that “a lot of these cuts were cuts to spending growth but a lot of that growth we intended.”

Between 2008 and 2010, the O’Malley and the Board of Public Works approved seven requests to cut spending by a total of nearly $1.3 billion.

Last week, the board approved cuts $77.1 million in actual spending — an amount equal to about one-half of 1 percent of the state’s $16.1 billion operating budget. The board also approved elimination of 61 vacant positions and more than $7 million in reversions and transfers from special funds.

“The major bond ratings agencies endorsed our fiscally responsible approach, and once again reaffirmed Maryland’s AAA bond rating,” O’Malley said in his statement.