WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: “Illinois is on a ratings roll”

Democrats lead Illinois to its third credit upgrade in 10 months




Yesterday, news broke that Moody’s Investor Service upgraded Illinois’ credit rating again to Baa1, the second upgrade from Moody’s and the third overall upgrade for the state in less than a year. This streak of positive financial news for Illinois comes after a 20-year drought in ratings upgrades, including a credit rating nose dive under failed former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Here is what news outlets across Illinois are saying about the rating upgrade:

Chicago TribuneIllinois gets credit upgrade as Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Democrats campaign on improving state’s financial health

Thursday’s credit hike from Moody’s comes after the ratings agency last year elevated the state’s credit to two notches above junk bond status from one, the first upgrade for Illinois since Republican George Ryan was governor. S&P Global Ratings followed suit soon after, and while Fitch Ratings still has Illinois at its lowest investment grade, the firm has signaled an upgrade could be in the offing.

Higher bond ratings mean the state generally is able to borrow money at lower interest rates, ultimately saving money for taxpayers.

Capitol News Illinois: Moody’s gives Illinois second credit upgrade within one year

The upgrade to Baa1 status, or three notches above what is referred to as “junk bond” status, reflects “solid tax revenue growth,” which allowed the state to bolster financial reserves and increase payments toward unfunded liabilities, according to Moody’s.

The upgrade to the general obligation bond rating likely means lower interest costs when the state borrows money.

BloombergIllinois Gets Third Upgrade on Rebounding Revenue, Reserves

“The upgrade to Baa1 reflects the state’s solid tax revenue growth over the past year, which expanded its capacity to rebuild financial reserves and increase payments towards unfunded liabilities,” Moody’s analyst Matthew Butler said in a report on Thursday. “The state is on track to close the current fiscal 2022 with its strongest fund balance in over a decade.

WGEM: Illinois receives another bond rating upgrade from Moody’s

Higher bond ratings can help states borrow money at a lower interest rate, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Illinois suffered eight credit rating downgrades during the budget impasse from 2015 to 2017. Pritzker said the state still has more work ahead to climb out of the financial hole dug over decades.

WFLDMoody’s upgrades Illinois’ credit rating for 2nd time in a year

Illinois is on a ratings roll. For the second time in a year, the credit ratings agency Moody’s bumped the state’s debt rating up a notch. That’s a huge improvement from last June, when the state teetered on the brink of junk status.

WAND: Illinois’ bond rating sees another upgrade

This marks the second time Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded Illinois’ ratings in less than a year. It’s the third increase in two decades…Pritzker’s staff said the upgrade follows the enactment of Illinois’ fourth consecutive balanced budget. 

State Journal-Register: Here’s why Moody’s Investors Service gave Illinois a credit rating upgrade

Illinois received a credit rating upgrade Thursday from Moody’s Investors Service, a bond credit rating agency. After a series of downgrades which began more than 10 years ago, it is the second credit rating upgrade from Moody’s since this time last year. […] 

“The state is on track to close the current fiscal 2022 with its strongest fund balance in over a decade,” wrote the credit agency in its rating announcement. 


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