CT Top State in Integrity, Income; Bonds Rated

At just about every turn this week, Connecticut was scored and rated: The state received an 87%, good for a B+ and second only to New Jersey among the 50 states, as rated by the State Integrity Investigation. The investigation, headed by groups Global Integrity, Center for Public Integrity, and Public Radio International, looked into 330 different “corruption risk indicators” which led to a final corruption risk grade for each state. The 14 categories focused on transparency, public access to information, ethics, judicial accountability, redistricting, and other areas. Grades reflect the structures in place to prevent corruption, and the degree of access that the public has to them. Only four states received a B or higher, while no states scored an A, and 8 states received F’s.

State personal income rose an average 5.1 percent nationwide in 2011 after rising 3.7 percent in 2010, according to estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. State personal income growth ranged from 3.4 percent in Maine to 8.1 percent in North Dakota. Connecticut's per capita income grew 10th fastest in the country, increasing by 4.9 percent in 2011, faster than the nation as a whole.  According to a preliminary estimate Connecticut remains at No. 1 in per capital income, far ahead of No. 2 Massachusetts. Connecticut's per capita income is more than $15,000 higher than the national average.

The bond rating agency Fitch, has rated Connecticut's  $555 million General Obligation bonds - schedule to be sold in mid-April - as "AA" with a stable outlook. The agency said the rating reflects the state's "vast wealth and income resources, tempered by a relatively high burden of debt and retirement liabilities. The slow and uneven pace of the economic recovery is affecting the pace of revenue growth and the state's ability to quickly recover from the downturn."