St. Louis Public Radio News
12:56 pm
Thu March 27, 2003

Blagojevich Pushes Debt Refinancing Plan

Springfield, ILL. – Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich Wednesday urged the state Senate to pass his plan to refinance part of the state's pension debt.

He wants to borrow up to $10 billion to make state pension payments, which he says would save Illinois nearly $2 billion in lower interest rates.

The loans that are currently used to float the state's pension system have about an 8% interest rate. Blagojevich says that's too high, and Illinois should refinance the loans at current rates of closer to 6%.

The plan's critics say the proposal is risky and call the nearly $2 billion projected savings optimistic.

Recently the refinancing plan received bi-partisan support when it passed out of the State House. It's currently awaiting final consideration in the senate.

The governor had planned to travel the state Thursday to push the plan, but he has canceled that trip to be closer to his wife, who is getting close to delivering the couple's second child.