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Pension Case Could Change Illinois' Credit Rating

Mar 25, 2015
Originally published on March 24, 2015 9:45 am

There's a reason analysts say Illinois has the nation's lowest credit rating. It has the nation's largest unfunded pension liability. A 2013 law that’s facing a challenge before the Illinois Supreme Court is intended to help.

Illinois is facing a budget hole in the billions, thanks to a rollback of the income tax. If the high court tosses out the pension law, there'll be more fiscal pressure.

Analysts like Moody's Ted Hampton say the rating won't likely drop further, even if the justices toss the law because the rating already presumes the law cannot be implemented.

"Our rating assumes that the constitutional protection is too high a hurdle for the state to get by," Hampton said.

If the Court does uphold the law and its benefit reductions, it's likely Illinois could see a positive effect.

Still, Hampton says the future of Illinois' credit worthiness doesn't all necessarily all come down to the court's decision.

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