SPRINGFIELD – The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget is pleased to announce that both Moody’s and Standard & Poors have reaffirmed the state’s long term bond rating. Moody’s remains at A 2 and Standard & Poors remains at A +.
“This rating is a positive indication that we can move in the right direction to restoring fiscal health to the state,” said David Vaught, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.
Director Vaught added that the Illinois General Assembly’s recent passage of a major and unprecedented public pension reform bill is proof that lawmakers are willing to work with Governor Quinn at finding solutions to Illinois’ fiscal problems.
“Governor Pat Quinn’s leadership on pension reform, which will save taxpayers more than a hundred billion dollars over the next several decades, along with the General Assembly’s decisive action to pass public pension legislation, is a key factor in our efforts to maintain this rating.” Director Vaught said.
Moody’s also reaffirmed their “negative outlook” on Illinois’ General Obligation bonds while Standard and Poors moved Illinois’ General Obligation bond ratings from “negative outlook” to “credit watch.” A credit watch indicates a downgrade is possible within six months. Both ratings agencies contend they will be looking for action by the General Assembly to address the state’s fiscal crisis before the May session recess.
“This outlook underscores the urgency for solutions and emphasizes the need for continued action to achieve fiscal balance by cutting costs, receiving assistance from the federal government, managing our debt, and securing revenue increases,” said Director Vaught.
Over the next few weeks the state will be issuing over a $1 billion worth of bonds as part of its Build America Bonds series. These funds will be used for several capital projects across the state as part of Illinois Jobs Now!, a job creating and capital improvement program that will revive the state’s ailing economy by creating and retaining 439,000 jobs over six years.