On Wednesday, Standard and Poors decided to take Illinois off the watch for a credit downgrade, and to keep the state’s credit rating at BBB-
S&P referred to the recently approved budget for the state and noted the combination of spending cuts and addition to the state’s revenues, were enough to bring the state much closer to a balanced budget.
This is a clear endorsement for those members of the legislature who voted to override the Governor’s veto of the budget. Many, such as Republican Rep Steve Anderson, and Rep David Harris (R), mentioned in their floor debate, that it was critical to pass this budget to avoid another credit downgrade.
Senate President, John Cullerton (D), who had worked closely with former Republican Senate Leader, Christine Radogno, to form the basis of the budget agreement that eventually passed, issued a statement following the S&P news,
“The point of this balanced budget was to end the chaos and move the state toward the stability it desperately needs. Those efforts appear to have been recognized and appreciated. The Senate President remains committed to working together to overcome the challenges we face and to remind everyone just how great the state of Illinois is.”
But the state is not out of the woods just yet, as Moody’s — another credit rating agency — still has the state on a credit watch, and could yet decide to lower the state’s credit rating to Junk Bond status.