Pension Payment Hurts Credit

(AP) – A major credit rating agency says Illinois’ inability to make a November payment to its pension funds could hurt the state’s already dismal credit rating.

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said last week that the state doesn’t have enough money to make a scheduled $560 million payment because of Illinois’ budget impasse.

Moody’s Investors Service warned Monday that the missed payment is a “credit negative.”

Illinois has the worst-funded pensions and the lowest credit rating of any state. Though Moody’s statement doesn’t indicate a change in Illinois’ rating, it could be a factor in future action.

The lower a state’s credit rating, the tougher – and more expensive – it is to borrow money.

GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled Legislature haven’t agreed on a budget for the July 1 fiscal year.

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