Credit rating improves for 7 Illinois universities

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The El Centro Campus of Northeastern Illinois University. | File photo

SPRINGFIELD — A major credit agency has raised debt ratings and affirmed others for seven Illinois universities.

S&P Global Ratings credited the state’s enactment of an annual budget this month for the first time in two years.

S&P raised its debt ratings for Southern Illinois University, Governors State University, Northeastern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University. It affirmed ratings for the University of Illinois, Illinois State University and Western Illinois University.

Each university had its rating removed from “credit watch negative.” The outlook for Western Illinois is “positive.” The others rated “stable” outlooks.

S&P says the impact of budget passage over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes is not yet clear. It says hundreds of millions of dollars the state comptroller plans to distribute by the end of the month is crucial for liquidity.

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