SPRINGFIELD, ILL. (KMOX) – Illinois’ treasurer warns the state is heading toward its seventh credit rating downgrade since 2015 if things don’t change soon.
Illinois, historically, has until May 31 to pass a budget before a three-fifths majority is needed, but that deadline hasn’t mattered for the past couple of years. Treasurer Mike Frerichs says credit downgrades matter.
“A recent $550 million bond issuance in June of 2016 is estimated to have cost the state an additional $70 million in interest alone. Another credit downgrade also will create long term damage to the state’s higher education system and to our social service providers,” he says.
Frerichs says most spending continues without a state budget due to a court order which is making the bill backlog worse, but that’s also why Frerichs thinks there’s not been much urgency to get a deal done.
“Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state in the country. Businesses are leaving, students are leaving, and social service agencies are closing their doors. This is not the Illinois we want it to be,” he says.