Pension impasse leads to another downgrade to state’s credit

SHARE Pension impasse leads to another downgrade to state’s credit
SHARE Pension impasse leads to another downgrade to state’s credit

SPRINGFIELD-Illinois’ creditworthiness took another significant hit after a bond-rating agency Monday downgraded the state because of the legislative stalemate over passing a pension-reform package before lawmakers went home for the summer last week.

Fitch Ratings dropped its rating on the state’s bonds from an “A” to an “A-” after House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) couldn’t reconcile their differences on how to solve Illinois nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

“Today’s downgrade is no surprise,” Gov. Pat Quinn said in a prepared statement. “As I have repeatedly made clear to the General Assembly, this will continue to happen until legislators pass a comprehensive pension reform bill, and put it on my desk.

“Every time the General Assembly misses the deadline, Illinois’ credit rating is downgraded, which hurts our economy, wastes taxpayer dollars and shortchanges the education of our children,” the governor said.

“If I could issue an executive order to resolve the pension crisis, I would have done it a long time ago. But I cannot act alone. Legislators must send me a bill to get this job done,” the governor said.

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