The debt-rating agency Standard & Poor’s will maintain Maine’s rating on nearly $500 million in bonds.

The agency also improved the outlook on borrowing from negative to stable.

The assessment follows last week’s downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s cut the outlook from “stable” to “negative” citing the state’s weak financial reserves and high Medicaid costs.

Deputy State Treasurer Barbara Raths said both agencies assessed the state’s financial picture at the same time. Raths said assessments took different views but focused on similar issues that could impact the state’s credit rating, including its cash reserves and Medicaid costs.

The S&P analysis is expected to be released later today.  

The annual assessments are routine, but could impact several bills awaiting Gov. Paul LePage’s signature, including five bond bills totalling approximatley $96 million.

The assessments come just weeks before a $55.8 million bond offering.

In addition to Medicaid costs, Moody’s cited concerns about Maine’s reserves. The issue came into focus with the passage of L.D. 849, which calls for the state to take money out of excess revenues to lower the income tax, after some of the money is used for other purposes.