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Today’s number: <1 percent

Friday, Jan 28, 2022

* Bloomberg

At the end of 2020, Illinois risked a downgrade to junk-bond status after taking emergency loans from the Federal Reserve to allay revenue losses from the pandemic. The state had almost no rainy day fund, paid an ever-higher penalty to borrow in the $4 trillion municipal bond market and Pritzker’s plan to collect more taxes from the wealthy was rejected by voters.

“The state has done a lot in recent years to right its fiscal ship,” said Amanda Kass, associate director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago. “Is that a blip in a long-term trend or is this the start of an upward trajectory in the state’s finances?”

The state has a history of financial missteps. Its unfunded pension liability had ballooned because it didn’t contribute enough for decades, leading it to take on billions in debt. An impasse between former Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly resulted in the state having no budget from 2015 to 2017, sending unpaid bills soaring and creating more debt. […]

The penalty Illinois pays compared to benchmark 10-year municipal securities has remained under 1 percentage point for the last nine months, after reaching more than four percentage points in May 2020, but it’s still the highest among peers.

Yeah, well, I’ll take it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - New Day - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    It’s amazing progress for which the governor and his team deserve a lot of credit. Cue GOP and Wirepoints creative whining about nothing in 3..2..1..


  2. - Homebody - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    Two phrases I’ve used a lot in my last couple jobs:

    “The first step in getting out of a hole is to stop digging.”

    and

    “Baby steps are still steps.”


  3. - MisterJayEm - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:15 am:

    Everything is relative.

    – MrJM


  4. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    Kudos to Bloomberg for a very fair characterization of the budget impasse between a Republican Governor and a Democratic legislature and the decades of ineptitude that precipitated it as opposed to how Democrats and JB Pritzker frame it


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:23 am:

    === An impasse between former Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly resulted in the state having no budget from 2015 to 2017, sending unpaid bills soaring and creating more debt===

    That’s quite generous to Raunerites, as Rauner himself demanded the hurting of labor *and* the raising of taxes… by Democrats… to end a forced budgetary crisis aided by Dunkin, Drury and Franks.

    “I’m frustrated too.., “

    If you know, you know #Who #Owl


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    ===budget impasse===

    National media outlets not grasping (or choosing a narrative towards Rauner) what exactly was that General Assembly is how the myth wins the day.

    Had Democrats in the House secured 71 votes at any time, there wouldn’t had been an impasse.

    Rauner fought for 3 Dem votes to hurt Illinois, rarely if ever looking for 60/30 or 71/36

    Thus?

    Thus… “I’m frustrated too…”


  7. - Arsenal - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:47 am:

    ==National media outlets not grasping (or choosing a narrative towards Rauner) what exactly was that General Assembly is how the myth wins the day.==

    I kinda get it, though. They’re just trying to keep the word count down for an article that really isn’t about Rauner’s hostage-taking.


  8. - Arsenal - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:49 am:

    ==Kudos to Bloomberg for a very fair characterization==

    Notable that even you can’t bring yourself to label it an *accurate* characterization, lol.


  9. - Smalls - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    I know many people don’t appreciate the huge improvement in future years due to the Tier 2 pensions. It will take a long time to dig out of the hole we were in up until that point, but thankfully we have stopped making that hole deeper and are slowly filling it in.


  10. - Rabid - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    That’s the way the ball bounces, tennis anyone


  11. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    =Kudos to Bloomberg=

    Still arguing the child’s argument. If you like their down the middle portrayal of the stand off that is fine, but the failure to grasp the costs of he governor’s actions is dishonest. After all of the predictions of the carnage that would result from a Pritzker win turned out to be false, your lack of acknowledgement is a tacit admission that you really do not care about good government.


  12. - Sir Reel - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 1:15 pm:

    Gotta crawl before you walk.


  13. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    Also more Tier 1 retirees are passing away every year. The problem will eventually take care of itself. Rauner left the state with a mountain of debt. He failed miserably in his attempt to kill the Unions, in fact the result of his actions was stronger Unions. Arguably the worst Governor in state history.


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