Monday, 25 September, 2017

Illinois Set To Become First State Slapped With 'Junk' Bond Rating

State Governor Bruce Rauner has spoken of potentially extending the Illinois legislative session State Governor Bruce Rauner has spoken of potentially extending the Illinois legislative session
Sammy Stanley | 02 July, 2017, 02:17

But they're due back Saturday.

Both Republicans and Democrats say they've been making progress, but they haven't come to an agreement yet.

Following a bipartisan vote in the House to amend the Democrat's $36.5 billion spending plan, Speaker Michael Madigan said lawmakers should expect to be in tomorrow. All of the Democrats and 23 Republicans voted in favor of the proposal, which is an amendment to Senate Bill 6, which was passed May 23 by the Illinois Senate.

Whatever plan the House passes will need to clear the Senate before going to Rauner for a vote.

Lawmakers in Springfield have blown the deadline for okaying a state budget for a record three-years in a row. IL has been operating without a budget since 2015, accumulating $6 billion in additional debt over the past year alone, reports Bloomberg. "So this will be a moment of truth".

Meanwhile, Illinois risks intervention from federal judges overseeing consent decrees requiring the state to fund medical and other services for the disadvantaged.

"I know the people in this room are here to do the right thing", said Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva, "and I know today we're going to do the right thing".

The tense House floor action marked a departure from cordial proceedings the day before, when Mr. Durkin said, "We are so close I can taste it".

The Illinois House has adjourned after endorsing a $36 billion state budget, though a final vote won't come in time to prevent Illinois from starting its third consecutive fiscal year without a spending plan.

The negotiations continued between Speaker Michael Madigan and Leader Jim Durkin into the evening Friday, and Durkin said they were in the red zone with a deal.

"We're close. We're close".

Ratings agency S&P Global recently warned IL that it will likely lose its investment-grade rating if Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and state Democrats can't scrape together a spending plan by midnight Friday.

A downgrade would make IL the first US state to be assigned "junk" status, and increase the cost to taxpayers when the state borrows money. He also said he would send messages to the major credit agencies, which have promised to downgrade Illinois' creditworthiness without a deal by Saturday, seeking more time to finalize the pact. The House must still take up a revenue bill increasing personal and corporate income tax rates to raise more money for the cash-strapped state. "That is still something that's open to negotiation", Durkin said. Harris says time is running out.

"This budget is a disaster, and this budget is the death knell for Illinois", Ives said. "We had great momentum yesterday in this chamber".

Lawmakers are trying to end an impasse between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature that started when the first-term governor took office in 2015 promising change.

"Oh sure, if everybody is reasonable", Madigan said of a potential breakthrough.

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