S&P Says Illinois Budget Isn't Likely to Help Improve State's Financial Woes

Jun 5, 2018

A major credit ratings agency says Illinois' new budget is ``more of the same'' from the worst-rated state in the U.S.

S&P Global Ratings released an analysis Tuesday of the $38.5 billion budget.

The agency says the budget passing on time - unlike in previous years - may have positive implications for the state's credit rating, which is one level above ``junk'' status. But, the agency says the plan continues Illinois' past practices of banking on revenue and savings that may not materialize.

For example, the budget relies on $270 million from the sale of the James R. Thompson Center, a state office building in Chicago lawmakers have discussed selling for years.

The budget also assumes savings from a pension buyout the agency describes as ``uncertain'' and doesn't pay down billions in bills or set aside money for a reserve fund.