* A tad bit of good news…
Illinois’s borrowing costs have fallen to the lowest level in six months as investors join Governor Pat Quinn in wagering that a law bolstering the worst-funded state pension system has “stopped the bleeding.”
The extra yield demanded on 10-year Illinois debt relative to AAA munis reached 1.43 percentage points on Jan. 30, the least since July 18, as the state prepares a $1 billion general-obligation bond sale this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fifth most-populous state already spared taxpayers more than $20 million on an offering in December, less than two weeks after legislators passed a pension bill that saves $145 billion over 30 years. […]
Illinois “is perceived as being on the right trajectory,” said Konstantine “Dino” Mallas, who helps oversee $20 billion of munis at T. Rowe Price Group Inc. in Baltimore. “I wouldn’t say they’re out of the woods, but maybe they’ve stopped digging themselves into a deeper hole.”
* And we’re not even in the top ten?…
According to a new report at Business Insider, Illinois is the 16th most corrupt state in the U.S. The ranking system looked at number of people convicted of public corruption, per population.
By this metric, Louisiana is the nation’s most corrupt state, with over nine public convictions per 100,000 residents. The states with the fewest conviction rates were South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Utah. Each of these had 1.3 convictions or fewer per 100,000.
…Adding… I think Greg Hinz is really on to something, at least as far as the corporate recruiting world is concerned…
The good folks at the Indiana Economic Development Corp. have had lots of fun at Illinois’ expense in the past couple of years, running a ton of ads here and other places about how Indiana is a far better place to locate a business than Illinois.
But now, the boys and girls from the Land of Lincoln think the Hoosiers have given them something to fight back with.
In the Indiana Senate, after clearing the state House earlier in the week, is a bill that would insert a ban on same-sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution. While the measure, at least as now written, would leave the door open to civil unions and would have to be approved by voters, it’s exactly the opposite direction that many states are headed in now, including Illinois, where gay marriage becomes legal on June 1.
Passage of the bill would be “a negative sign to business,” said Doug Whitley, CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “That’s a mistake for the Indiana Legislature to take that path.”
Allowing same-sex couples to wed and related matters “are a determinant of where you want to live and work,” he added.
The same point comes from Adam Pollet, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: “Illinois is open for business. We want all the business here, and all of the people in those businesses,” he told me.