Bruce Rauner

Ratings Agency Says New Illinois Budget Is ‘More of the Same'

Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly couldn't agree on a plan in 2015 or 2016.

A major credit ratings agency says Illinois' new budget is "more of the same" from the worst-rated state in the U.S.

S&P Global Ratings released an analysis Tuesday of the $38.5 billion budget.

The agency says the budget passing on time — unlike in previous years — may have positive implications for the state's credit rating, which is one level above "junk" status. But the agency says the plan continues Illinois' past practices of banking on revenue and savings that may not materialize.

For example, the budget relies on $270 million from the sale of the James R. Thompson Center, a state office building in Chicago lawmakers have discussed selling for years.

The budget also assumes savings from a pension buyout the agency describes as "uncertain" and doesn't pay down billions in bills or set aside money for a reserve fund.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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