Tri States Public Radio Staff
Credit Rating Lowered
Fri January 11, 2013
Illinois Takes Another Financial Hit
All three major credit rating agencies have labeled Illinois' financial outlook as "negative."
Fitch Ratings is the latest to do so. The agency blames lawmakers for failing to pass a pension overhaul before adjourning Tuesday.
Lower ratings could force Illinois to pay higher interest when it takes out credit for stuff such as infrastructure projects.
House Republican Leader Tom Cross said that's money Illinois doesn't have. He called the downgrade "embarrassing."
Governor Pat Quinn's assistant budget director issued a statement saying the Fitch report should be "required reading for every member of the new General Assembly."
Despite Quinn's urging, legislators have been unable to agree on a way to cut the state's pension costs.
Unions are fighting attempts to cut retirement benefits that state employees have earned and were promised. However, unions have indicated they are willing to support a plan that would require workers to pay more into their pensions.
Thanks to Illinois Public Radio