S&P lowers Illinois credit rating, blames pensions

By: The AP
By: The AP

Ill. treasurer, governor say pension action needed

   CHICAGO (AP) -- Treasurer Dan Rutherford says Illinois' credit rating downgrade is likely to cost taxpayers more in interest when the state issues bonds.

   Standard & Poor's lowered Illinois' credit rating Friday due to concern over the state's failure to address its $96 billion pension fund deficit. Rutherford says lawmakers' inaction has Illinois "headed for financial disaster."

   Gov. Pat Quinn said earlier Friday that rating agencies won't give Illinois better marks until the General Assembly passes pension reform.

   Standard & Poor's said Friday that it downgraded Illinois' general obligation bonds from A to A-minus. The agency also gave an A-minus rating to $500 million in general obligation bonds that the state plans to issue in February. Ratings agencies have been downgrading Illinois' credit over the last several years.
 

CHICAGO (AP) -- Standard & Poor's rating services has lowered Illinois' credit rating, blaming the state's pension problems.

The New York-based agency said Friday that the rating on the state's general obligation bonds was downgraded to A- from A. The agency also gave an A- rating to $500 million in general obligation bonds that the state plans to release in February. The agency says the outlook is negative.

Standard & Poor's credit analysts say the downgrade reflects what the agency sees as the state's "weakened pension-funded rations" and lack of action on reform measures to improve the state's worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. Illinois has a $96 billion pension deficit.


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