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Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC

O'Malley's fiscal legacy [Editorial]

O'Malley's fiscal legacy [Editorial]

When the three major Wall Street bond rating agencies reaffirmed Maryland's AAA rating last week, Gov. Martin O'Malley issued a news release crediting his administration's "fiscally responsible approach" to budgeting. Given the extent to which Mr. O'Malley's fiscal stewardship has come under attack during the race to succeed him — even in the Democratic primary — that may strike many Marylanders as laughable. But the agencies' letters explaining their decisions are worth a closer look for what they say about the state's underlying fiscal strength and the ways Mr. O'Malley has improved it.

An important thing to bear in mind when reading bond rating analyses is...