Inability or unwillingness to fix the state’s hemorrhaging pension system and curb union power has led a major credit rating service to downgrade the Land of Lincoln’s rating to the lowest in the nation.
On Friday, the bond rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the state’s credit level again, to A-, putting Illinois’ on par with California. No, actually below California, for S&P gives California a positive outlook.
Illinois’ fragile overall financial status netted it a negative outlook, putting it behind California overall. The ratings came out now because Illinois plans to issue $500 million in bonds within days.
Moody’s already ranks Illinois 50th among the states, and Fitch ranks the state 49th but warns of a negative watch.
Moody’s A2 ranking places it even with Botswana, a southern African nation that is 70% desert, in what is the latest fallout over the $96.8 billion unfunded debt to five state pension systems.