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Illinois S&P Rating is Worst in the Nation

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says poor credit rating will cost taxpayers.

Standard & Poor’s rating services downgraded Illinois’ credit rating today to A-, with a negative outlook, making it the lowest rating of all 50 states.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford blamed the negative rating on inaction on the public pension system by Gov. Pat Quinn and the general assembly, at a press conference today. Illinois has a $96 billion pension deficit.

Rutherford pointed out numerous instances in which the state had set a deadline to address pension reform and did not meet the deadline, which was followed by a downgrade in the state’s credit rating.

“Every time a deadline is set and nothing happens substantively, there is a negative action by rating agencies, Rutherford said.

Rutherford explained that the poor credit rating affects the state the same as a poor credit rating would affect an individual. 

“If you went out to borrow 500 dollars, because you have such bad credit, it will cost 95 dollars more in interest than better rated states,” Rutherford said. 

“This is absolutely bad news of for taxpayers; this affects what we are paying in interest as opposed to principal,” he said. He said the poor credit rating will have an effect on state universities, road construction and other public institutions because as projects are paid for, more will go to interest than principal. 

Rutherford said state leaders need to cut the budget and address pension reform.

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, according to AP. 

Deadcatbounce January 27, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Thea's good. democrats are running the entire state into financial ruin. LOL.
Jac Charlier January 27, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Dan - The specific issue of the pension debt can be safely traced to 1994 as that is when the current pension payment "ramp" was invented. I use the word invented intentionally as the ramp was not based on fiscal reality but on political comfort. That falls primarily on Republicans with Dems going along. However, in the last 10 years (since 2002) the Dems must bear the majority of the blame as they have voted repeatedly for budgets that followed this fiscal magic all the while (and this is critical) knowing full well what was coming. As I have pointed out before, one of the worst parts of the story is that those same State Representatives and Senators who have been voting are now acting as if they will "solve" the pension debt issue while accepting/acknowledging absolutely no ACCOUNTABILITY for it. This is why in my postings and discussions I ask the relevant question - "Will you vote for your State Representative and Senator when the time comes?".
RationalTht January 27, 2013 at 09:42 PM
RB - the democrats have controlled everything for the past decade or so, but have only managed to give RAISES and make things worse.
Vicky Kujawa February 02, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Just Lyin' (again), it's because of corrupt Liberal idiots like Quinn and Madigan that this state is beyond financial repair.
John Parker May 09, 2013 at 02:16 AM
The 630 educators who retired from District 211 (Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Palatine) averaged pension payments of $86,982 last year, almost twice the state average, according to records from the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System. To put this in context, the total pension debt-per-household in Suburban North West Cook County is $35,774

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