Madigan: Two Credit Downgrades in Three Days Make it Clear Rauner Needs to Focus on State Budget

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement after Moody’s Investor Services downgraded Illinois’ credit Thursday. The downgrade comes just three days after Fitch Ratings issued a downgrade of its own to the state’s credit rating:

“Two credit downgrades in the same week are certainly nothing to claim victory over and nothing to ignore. These downgrades will have direct consequences on state taxpayers. The interest rate on future debt repayment will be higher, costing taxpayers more for the foreseeable future.

“Yet despite the Fitch Ratings downgrade Monday, Governor Rauner has insisted on moving ahead with his agenda, which would damage middle-class families’ standard of living and drive down wages, despite the clear lack of support for his agenda from Democrats and Republicans alike.

“With its own credit downgrade Thursday, Moody’s made it very clear that what the state needs to do is focus on eliminating our budget deficit, creating a long-term plan to fund the state’s pensions and reducing the state’s bill backlog.

“We all want economic growth, more business investment and more good-paying jobs for hard-working families in every part of Illinois. That is not in question. These priorities can be achieved through a state budget that takes a balanced approach with some spending cuts and some new revenue, not by slashing services and programs that families count on.

“The biggest issue facing Illinois is the state budget deficit. Two credit downgrades in less than a week have driven home that important fact. So I urge the governor, again, to put aside his agenda that Democrats and Republicans alike oppose – an agenda that will hurt middle-class and struggling families – and instead focus on a budget that helps all Illinoisans.”