Illinois' pension debt is so far in the red, it's starting to affect how lawmakers ask for outside help. Standard & Poor's lowered the state's credit rating from an A to an A-. That half-step downgrade might take a toll on your wallet.
An A- minus might not look bad on a student's report card, but we're now the state with Standard & Poor's worst credit score in the nation.
"Any further downgrade is not a good thing, it will cost the state more money, exactly how much? Not sure, but obviously this is not the right direction, the right trend the state wants to be going." -says newly-elected 34th District State Senator Steve Stadelman.
The worse the credit rating, the more citizens could pay in interest when the state issues bonds. One local leader says the majority party, controlling the house, senate and governor's office is to blame for slow movement on pension reform.
"We've urged them, we've said 'We'll work with you. We didn't create this problem but we'll help you fix it.' Unfortunately, they keep putting it off or they adjourn." -says 35th District State Senator Dave Syverson.
Stadelman says fault can't be determined by party-colors.
"This pension crisis has been around for a long time, the state's budget problems have been around for a long time when both Democrats and Republicans had been in power. It's a bipartisan mess, leaders in both parties are to blame and the solution will have to be bipartisan."
In December, Moody's also lowered Illinois' credit rating.
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