Congratulations Illinois! You beat California for the title of the most dysfunctional state of all. Your buttons must be bursting with pride. Gosh. I can’t imagine the euphoria.
A warning came Saturday morning from state treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) IL State Treasurer. The Standard and Poor’s downgrade from A to A-minus puts Illinois last on the list– and means a higher cost to borrow money.
On Wednesday, the state will issue $500 million in new bonds to pay for roads and other transportation projects. Rutherford says the credit downgrade will cost taxpayers an additional $95 million in interest, when compared to a perfect triple-a bond rating enjoyed by other11 states including neighboring Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.
“Our problem in Illinois is that we have not substantively and fairly addressed the state public pension issue.”
Rutherford points to Governor Quinn and the democratically controlled general assembly for making matters worse in the last two years– raising taxes but not acting on pension reform. [Oh dear, this is worthy of the Coveted 'Ya Think?! Award™. Quick, let me dust one off. - Aggie]
“This problem didn’t come along just now it’s been accumulating for actually decades. Each time the governor set a deadline and didn’t meet it there was some negative reaction,” he said.
“Illinois is a very good place and we can turn this place around– but the first thing we need to do is fix this in a fair way, our public pensions.”
No problem. Just explain things to the Prez of the Chicago Teachers Union, Karen Lewis. She’ll understand.