CHICAGO – August 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn issued the following statement regarding Standard & Poor’s action today.
“Today’s action is no surprise.
“Over and over again this summer, I made clear that if we do not act on pension reform, the state of Illinois would suffer the consequences. Now it has.
”Eliminating our $83 billion unfunded pension liability is vital to getting our financial house in order. Today’s action by Standard & Poor’s is more evidence that we must act.
“I cannot act alone. We must work together to make the tough decisions necessary to correct poor financial decisions made by previous governors and legislatures over decades that created this situation today.
“We cannot fix these challenges overnight but, as we have shown with the Fiscal Year 2013 budget by reducing our Medicaid liability by more than $2 billion, paying down $1.3 billion in bills, and taking discretionary spending to below 2008 levels, steady progress can lead Illinois to sound financial footing.
“The only thing standing between Illinois and comprehensive pension reform is politics.
“We must put politics aside. Pointing fingers will not resolve this problem. Inaction on pension reform is unacceptable and unfair to our children.
“We must address the unfunded pension liability and we can only do it together. I am inviting the four legislative leaders to a meeting in early September to work on pension reform. Illinois cannot move forward without it.”