Thursday, August 30, 2012

Illinois' Descent Into Third World Status Accelerates

Illinois' credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor's on Wednesday, a move that came after Gov. Pat Quinn's inability to persuade lawmakers to cut costs in the state's debt-ridden public employee pension system.

The agency lowered the state's credit rating from A+ to A, citing a "lack of action" on changes aimed at decreasing the pension system's unfunded liability, which could hit $93 billion by next summer if nothing is done. Standard & Poor's also gave Illinois a "negative outlook," saying the state's budget future remains uncertain.

It's unclear what impact the new rating will have on Illinois' pocketbook, but it is likely that it will cost the state more to borrow money to finance construction projects including new schools, roads and bridges.

Only California is ranked lower than Illinois by the S&P, with a credit rating of A-.

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