After No Pension Deal, Fitch Lowers Illinois' Credit Rating

Jun 3, 2013

Illinois' credit rating has suffered another downgrade.

It follows the General Assembly's adjournment Friday without any agreement on what to do about the state's pension systems.


A string of previous downgrades already left Illinois with the lowest bond rating in the nation.

None of those spurred legislators to reach a compromise - and there's no telling if this latest one will be any different.

Fitch lowered Illinois from an A to an A- rating, a status that means it may cost more when the state borrows money.

The agency's report says "enactment of pension reform is critical to the long-term stability of the state's fiscal position."

Even before the downgrade, Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, asked Gov. Pat Quinn to call a special session.

BRADY: "We've seen this deadline pass and now it's time to come back to the table, understanding that everyday's a deadline that must be met in terms of a resolution."

On Friday, in the final hours of the spring session - when it became clear no pension legislation was going to pass - Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, said Quinn should keep the General Assembly in town until it did.

QUINN: "I think it's time for the governor to step up. I think it's time for the Governor to become relevant."

Quinn issued a statement calling the downgrade no surprise - and says he's calling the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate in for a meeting.

Speaker Mike Madigan and President John Cullerton are at odds over an appropriate solution to the state's $100 billion of pension debt.

-Amanda Vinicky