Illinois Bond Rating Lowered Yet Again

Illinois lawmakers’ failure to pass a pension overhaul has led to yet another downgrade of the state’s bond rating. Amanda Vinicky has more.

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Illinois’ rating has taken its second hit in just as many weeks. This time, Standard and Poor’s has lowered Illinois to an A-. The agency says the downgrade is caused by legislators’ lack of action on measures that would reduce the state’s ballooning pension costs.

Treasurer Dan Rutherford, a Republican, says it’s irresponsible that legislators and the governor haven’t done anything about it.

Rutherford:  “Every deadline set and inaction occurred, it costs us a negative issuance. We know have joined the bottom of the pile, we are the bottom of the pile according to Standard and Poor’s.”

Standard and Poor’s analysts say that lawmakers’ poor track record the past couple of years makes them pessimistic that’ll change. The agency’s report says that even if something does pass, legal challenges could leave Illinois with a pension problem for years to come.

But that’s not all. The report notes that Illinois has other budget problems, including an income tax hike set to expire in 2014.

Amanda Vinicky

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