SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — One credit agency has adjusted Illinois’ rating, and elected officials are celebrating.
According to a press release from the Governor’s office, S&P Global Ratings upgraded its rating of the state from BBB+ to A-.
“The upgrade on the GO debt reflects our view that Illinois’ commitment and execution to strengthen its budgetary flexibility and stability, supported by accelerating repayment of its liabilities, rebuilding its Budget Stabilization Fund to decade highs; and a slowing of statutory pension funding growth, will likely continue during the outlook period,” S&P Global Ratings analyst Geoff Buswick stated.
The last time the S&P rated Illinois at an A- rating or higher was May 2016. After the two-year budget impasse, the state’s credit rating dropped to just above junk status.
This is the seventh credit rating upgrade from the three major credit rating agencies in two years. Even with the upgrade, Illinois is among the lowest scores by S&P.
Pritzker used the credit upgrade to tout his financial success of his first terms, including four years of balanced budgets, adding more money to the budget stabilization plan, and paying off the bill backlog.
“I am thrilled to see our hard work at righting the past fiscal wrongs of our state reflected in today’s action by S&P with another credit rating upgrade—the third such upgrade in just two years,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “Our continued fiscal responsibility and smart budgeting will save Illinois taxpayers millions from adjusted interest rates, and my partners in the General Assembly and I look forward to building on that success.”
Legislators also applauded the upgrade.
“Today’s news is yet another sign the years of fiscal responsibility from the General Assembly is paying off,” Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) said. “In recent years, we have been able put money back in the pockets of the state’s hardworking families and provide funding for the people who need the most help – all while paying down our bill backlog.”