Continuing pension problems have earned Illinois another reduction in its credit rating.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services announced Wednesday that it is lowering Illinois' rating a notch. The decision is based on weak funding for government pensions and a "lack of action on reform measures."
Only California has a lower rating from S&P, but the service says the outlook for California is positive. Illinois falls into the "negative outlook" category.
Illinois lawmakers are scheduled to debate today a massive overhaul of the state’s pension system.
The measure’s revival was made possible last night by a surprise move from House Speaker Michael Madigan, who calls an overhaul necessary.
Madigan told Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky he regrets his role in passing an early retirement package a decade ago that added to the state’s $83 billion unfunded pension liability – and what he wants to do about it now.
Brian Mackey contributed reporting from Springfield.
An Illinois state House committee has approved sweeping changes to public employee pensions.
It's one of Gov. Pat Quinn's priorities for the legislative session that ends on Thursday.
Current and retired state and university employees, and public school teachers would face a difficult choice; keep their health care in retirement and have future pay raises count toward their pensions, but a smaller cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), or keep the current 3 percent compounding COLA but lose health care.