We’re number fifty! Standard and Poor’s has joined Moody’s in lowering Illinois’ credit rating to worst in the nation. State treasurer Dan Rutherford says it only adds to the amount of interest the state will have to pay as it borrows more money. Without Friday’s news, Rutherford says the state already faced $95 million in additional interest on a $500 million bond sale.
“The problem with Illinois is not Illinois,” says Rutherford. “The problem with Illinois is the leadership we have in Illinois today. And if you step back, and if you look at our financial situation from any type of objective analysis, we are a very poor credit-worthy state.” Rutherford says a major mistake by the General Assembly was to increase the state’s income tax two years ago without tying the revenue to a solution to any of the financial problems in Illinois: unpaid bills, huge debt, and unfulfilled pension obligations.