Quinn Calls Special Session on Pensions

Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday called a special legislative session to focus on a solution to fix Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension shortfall.

The move comes after Moody's downgraded the state's credit rating from A2 to A3, the second time the rating was downgraded this week. On Monday, Fitch Ratings dropped Illinois' rating from A to A-, citing pension problems. Standard & Poor's rating services lowered the rating in January.

Illinois has the lowest rating in the nation.

"Here we go again," Quinn said in a statement. "Will two downgrades in one week be enough to convince the General Assembly that our pension crisis can't be ignored anymore?"

Quinn said he has pushed members to send a comprehensive pension reform bill, but as recently as Friday legislators failed to act. 

"Illinois taxpayers are paying a price of $17 million a day for the General Assembly’s lack of action on comprehensive pension reform," Quinn said.

He called the General Assembly back to Springfield on June 19 "to finish their job for the people of Illinois.”

Lower ratings mean paying higher interest rates on borrowed money.

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