ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A major rating agency has given the state of Minnesota's creditworthiness a boost.

Standard and Poor's on Wednesday upgraded its bond rating of Minnesota from AA+ to AAA, matching the grade from Fitch. An AAA rating is the highest each agency gives. The nation's third largest rating firm, Moody's, gives Minnesota its second-best rating.

Those ratings are critical to state and local governments because they allow organizations to borrow money at lower interest rates. State officials credited recent work to shore up $3.4 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for the improvement. Gov. Mark Dayton signed that bill this year.

Dayton says it marks a fiscal turnaround for the state since he took office in 2011 faced with solving a $6.2 billion budget deficit.