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No ratings bump, but Fitch revises Illinois outlook from Negative to Stable

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2019

* A small bit of good news. From a press release

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the state of Illinois’ Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘BBB’ and revised the Outlook to Stable from Negative.

Additionally, Fitch has affirmed the ‘BBB’ ratings on the state’s outstanding GO bonds, and the ‘A-’ ratings on the Build Illinois senior and junior obligation sales tax revenue bonds, which are linked to the state’s IDR based on state dedicated tax analysis.

The Rating Outlook for the above bonds has been revised to Stable. […]

The Outlook revision to Stable reflects key developments over the last three months for the state including an unanticipated revenue surge in April 2019 that positioned the state to resolve a sizable fiscal 2019 mid-year budget gap and enact an on-time fiscal 2020 budget. The positive April revenue surprise seen in Illinois, and other states, supported a significant increase in fiscal 2020 estimated revenues, easing the path to budget adoption and allowing the state to reduce (but not eliminate) reliance on non-recurring measures. The state now has a plausible and achievable 2020 budget plan, leaving the state better positioned from a fiscal perspective, and the potential for a rating downgrade in the near-term has receded. The recent gains, however, are somewhat tenuous and their sustainability hinges on the state’s actions over the next several years, particularly around the November 2020 ballot initiative on the graduated individual income tax.

Illinois’ ‘BBB’ IDR and GO ratings continue to reflect an ongoing pattern of weak operating performance and irresolute fiscal decision-making that has produced a credit position well below the level that the state’s broad economic base and substantial independent legal ability to control its budget would otherwise support. The state’s elevated long-term liability position remains a key credit challenge.

More at the link.

…Adding… Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes…

Illinois is already much stronger than we were a year ago, and it’s refreshing that Fitch is recognizing the good news and progress we’ve made so far. We know we have a long way to go, but we are committed to improving our long term fiscal stability and building an economy that works for everyone.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 4:49 pm:

    “enact an on-time fiscal 2020 budget”

    How great it is to be simply normal in this regard and do normal functions timely. So glad to be rid of Gov. Junk, who deliberately caused the most per capita damage to the state—and then cravenly had others to clean up his mess by allowing quick veto overrides on the tax hike and budget.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    “Ratings don’t matter”

    - Bruce Rauner

    If you are a Raunerite, please, don’t decide now ratings matter. Y’all kept telling everyone you were with a man who dismissed ratings, unless he was blaming Pat Quinn for past ratings.

    K? K.

    Thanks.

    To the Post,

    As - Wordslinger - smartly and constantly reminded us; Illinois bonds are paid first, and we’ve yet to default, as its law we pay on bonds first.

    It costs the state more money, and those buying the bonds are reaping the rewards.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 4:58 pm:

    “If you are a Raunerite”

    Raunerites and the IPI purposely want the state to fail financially, so they could use it as a pretext to bust unions.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 5:03 pm:

    ===purposely want the state to fail financially, so they could use it as a pretext to bust unions.===

    Yep.

    Or they say bonding is illegal “sumptin’-sumptin’… sue”

    Taking any strategy without the Union anger and angle in consideration is a mistake.


  5. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    Another GovJunk failure reversed


  6. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 5:37 pm:

    “Fitch revises Illinois outlook from Negative to Stable”

    We’re far from out of the hole, but perhaps — at long last — we’ve stopped digging.

    – MrJM


  7. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 5:39 pm:

    Governor Pritzker…Thanks.


  8. - VerySmallRocks - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 5:51 pm:

    The bleeding, if not stopped, is down to an ooze. Yes, government haters, running a government properly is hard work, and can be boring at times.


  9. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 6:32 pm:

    @VerySmallRocks…..nice comment. so hard….


  10. - Glengarry - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 6:49 pm:

    Stability. Ain’t it grand?


  11. - Truthteller - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 6:50 pm:

    I wonder how much $$$$ Rauner and his crew made off Illinois debt?……I wonder why no one has looked into thus angle


  12. - Cadillac - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 9:35 pm:

    “The recent gains, however, are somewhat tenuous and their sustainability hinges on the state’s actions over the next several years, particularly around the November 2020 ballot initiative on the graduated individual income tax.”

    Ballgame.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 31, 19 @ 9:39 pm:

    ===…their sustainability hinges on the state’s actions over the next several years, particularly around the November 2020 ballot initiative on the graduated individual income tax.===

    Sounds like they are rooting for more revenue.

    Yep.


  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 1, 19 @ 8:48 am:

    ==I wonder how much $$$$ Rauner and his crew made off Illinois debt?……I wonder why no one has looked into thus angle ==

    I have wondered this myself…


  15. - Skeptic - Thursday, Aug 1, 19 @ 8:49 am:

    Raunerites dissing the good news and complaining about structural reforms in 3, 2, 1…


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