State

Fitch downgrades Illinois credit rating

SPRINGFIELD – One of the three major ratings agencies has downgraded the value of Illinois state government credit.

Fitch Ratings said Monday it would drop the Illinois rating from "A'' to "A-" based on lawmakers' failure to enact a solution to the state's public-employee pension crisis.

Illinois already has the lowest rating in the nation. Lower ratings mean paying higher interest rates on borrowed money.

Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to schedule a meeting of legislative leaders for Tuesday.

Decades of state underfunding has left the five employee retirement systems $97 billion below what they need to cover future obligations.

The House and Senate both enacted their own plans toward a solution, but neither chamber adopted the other's proposal.

The Legislature adjourned its spring session Friday without taking any action.

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