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Illinois credit rating sinks to worst in nation

Home - by - January 27, 2013 - 20:00 America/New_York - 14 Comments

Chicago Trib

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois fell to the bottom of all 50 states in the rankings of a major credit ratings agency Friday following the failure of Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers to fix the state’s hemorrhaging pension system during this month’s lame-duck session.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service downgraded Illinois in what is the latest fallout over the $96.8 billion debt to five state pension systems. The New York rating firm’s ranking signaled taxpayers may pay tens of millions of dollars more in interest when the state borrows money for roads and other projects.

“It’s absolutely bad news for taxpayers,” said Dan Rutherford, the Republican state treasurer.
Illinois received its bottom-of-the-pack ranking when it fell from an “A” rating to “A-minus.”

That’s the same rating as California, but California has a positive outlook. Illinois’ fragile overall financial status netted it a negative outlook, putting it behind California overall. The ratings came out now because Illinois plans to issue $500 million in bonds within days.

Exactly how much Illinois’ credit-rating slide ultimately will cost taxpayers is unknown until the demand for the state’s bonds is measured in the markets. But Rutherford estimated the state will pay $95 million more in interest than if Illinois had a AAA rating, which is much higher.

Even before the downgrade was revealed, Quinn said in Chicago the “pressure is higher than ever” to solve the pension problem because “credit rating agencies are screaming at the top of their voice” for final action.

The Democratic governor and lawmakers couldn’t cut a pension deal despite his deadline forthe outgoing legislature to act before the new General Assembly was sworn in Jan. 9.

On Friday, Quinn called for lawmakers to take up legislation sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, that combines two rival pension plans emerging from the House and Senate. Both rein in costs by reducing benefits, an action unions have argued is unconstitutional.

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» 14 Comments

  1. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    January 27th, 2013

    Just NOW they noticed this?
    Hey S&P, check the news, hun. We’ve been talking about it for years.

    Thumb up +6

     
  2. whosebone

    January 27th, 2013

    california has a positive outlook? who knew

    Thumb up +4

     
  3. thirdtwin

    January 27th, 2013

    whosebone, California has offshore oil and palm trees. Illinois just has greasy palms.

    Thumb up +8

     
  4. Dan Ryan Galt

    January 27th, 2013

    Good on you Rahm! And just to make sure all of Chicago’s citizens can go to Hell in a hand basket together, the Governor signed a bill into law giving illegals the right to get driver’s licenses.

    http://news.yahoo.com/fraud-concerns-linger-over-ill-license-law-155828827.html

    Thumb up +3

     
  5. Chieftain

    January 27th, 2013

    And anyone is surprised, because??

    Thumb up +3

     
  6. Dan Ryan Galt

    January 27th, 2013

    Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed Illinois’ measure into law Sunday in Chicago. Backers, including Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some of the state’s top Republicans, tout it as a public-safety measure. They argue that required facial recognition technology is reliable enough to prevent fraud.

    “reliable enough to prevent fraud.” ha ha ha…..you funny.

    Thumb up +5

     
  7. Bob M.

    January 27th, 2013

    “Illinois fell to the bottom of all 57 states in the rankings of a major credit ratings agency Friday…”

    Fixed it for ya’… ;-)

    Thumb up +6

     
  8. Marq

    January 27th, 2013

    Republicans running for office should compare Illinois with Indiana and Wisconsin-both with Republican leadership. Show them what years of democratic rule in Illinois has done. Be sure to include producing Obama.

    Thumb up +5

     
  9. Bad Brad

    January 27th, 2013

    California has a positive outlook!!!

    Don’t panic. Jerry Brown just read this and he’s going to get this problem resolved asap.

    Thumb up +5

     
  10. Stranded in Sonoma

    January 28th, 2013

    Illinois received its bottom-of-the-pack ranking when it fell from an A rating to A-minus.

    That’s the same rating as California…

    Lets stop with the AAA and AA+ and AA- rating bullshit. Here it is in school lingo.

    AAA = A+ = A
    AA+ = A = B
    AA = A- = C
    AA- = B+ = D
    A+ = B = E
    A = B- = F
    A- = C+ = Too much socialism
    BBB+ = C = ” ” ” ”
    BBB = C- = ” ” ” ”
    BBB- = D+ = ” ” ” ”
    BB+ = D = ” ” ” ”
    BB = D- = ” ” ” ”
    BB- = F = ” ” ” ”

    B+ = Excrement
    B = Crap
    B- = Shit
    CCC+ = Good luck! You’re stuck with them.
    CCC = ” ” ” ”
    CCC- = ” ” ” ”
    CC = ” ” ” ”
    C = ” ” ” ”
    D = ” ” ” “

    Thumb up +2

     
  11. Boobie the Rocket Dog

    January 28th, 2013

    The rest of Illinois should secede from Chicago. Let it crumble under its own weight. They could give East St. Louis to Missouri, Cairo to Kentucky and be 95% white and productive.

    Thumb up +2

     
  12. RightWinger

    January 28th, 2013

    I find it interesting how the reporter tries to be sneaky and do his political wording to make the low information voter believe this is the fault of Republicans.

    You get down to the 3rd paragraph when you see the first mention of party affiliation…..”“It’s absolutely bad news for taxpayers,” said Dan Rutherford, the Republican state treasurer”.

    Oh, Republican state treasurer. Low information voter puts 1+1 together to get 13.

    He avoids Pat Quinn’s affiliation in the first paragraph and avoids hooking the name and “D” word together in the 7th paragraph.

    Thumb up +1

     
  13. Aidan

    January 28th, 2013

    Time for the BIG FLUSH.

    Thumb up 0

     
  14. Billy Fuster

    January 28th, 2013

    Federal bailout coming soon.

    Thumb up 0