Agency Reaffirms Illinois' Bond Ratings

March 30, 2010 ( - The Illinois Governor’s Office of Management and Budget has announced that both Moody’s and Standard & Poor's have reaffirmed the state’s long-term bond rating.

Moody’s remains at A 2 and Standard & Poors remains at A +, according to the announcement. Moody’s also reaffirmed their “negative outlook” on Illinois’ General Obligation bonds, while S&P moved Illinois’ General Obligation bond ratings from “negative outlook” to “credit watch” – indicating a downgrade is possible within six months.        

Both ratings agencies say they will be looking for action by the General Assembly to address the state’s fiscal crisis before the May session recess.     

“This rating is a positive indication that we can move in the right direction to restoring fiscal health to the state,” said David Vaught, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, in the announcement.      

Both S&P and Moody’s referenced the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of public pension system reforms last week as a factor in their determinations (see Illinois Lawmakers Push through Pension Reform).      

According to the announcement, over the next few weeks the state will be issuing over a $1 billion worth of bonds as part of its Build America Bonds series.  These funds will be used for several capital projects across the state as part of Illinois Jobs Now!, a job creating and capital improvement program that will revive the state’s ailing economy by creating and retaining 439,000 jobs over six years.