Fitch Downgrades Illinois' Credit Rating Due to Budget Battle - NBC Chicago
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Fitch Downgrades Illinois' Credit Rating Due to Budget Battle



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    A major credit rating agency has downgraded Illinois' rating on outstanding bonds because of the state budget crisis.

    Fitch Ratings on Monday lowered the rating on $26 billion in general obligation bonds from A- to BBB+. That's a few levels above what's considered "junk" status.

    Fitch cites lawmakers' failure to pass a budget for the July 1 fiscal year, above-average debt and "exceptionally high" unfunded pension liabilities.

    Catherine Kelly is spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. She says Rauner is fighting to "put the state on the path to fiscal health," but the Democrat-led Legislature is standing in his way.

    Rikeesha Phelon is spokeswoman for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. She says Illinois can't afford for Rauner "to prioritize his corporate class agenda over basic budget math and governing." 

    House Speaker Michael Madigan said in a statement Monday that the "the number one problem facing Illinois is the state budget."

    "The lack of a resolution on the state budget and today’s downgrade are direct results of the governor’s continued focus on issues other than solving our budget crisis," he said.

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