Credit Hit For "unprecedented level of political discord and dysfunction."

Jun 9, 2016

Illinois' fiscal health continues to tumble, in the eyes of the analysts who assign credit ratings.

Moody's. S&P. Fitch. All three of the nation's big credit rating agencies have taken notice of the state's ongoing budget impasse.

None are impressed with what they're seeing. 

Already, Illinois had worst credit rating in the country; it's gotten worse.

Moody's downgraded the state; its report says the "long-running partisan standoff" has Illinois growing a deficit that amounts to 15 percent of state spending.

S&P also took the state's rating down a notch, citing "mismanagement" and "top leadership's highly polarized views" on addressing the fiscal imbalance.

While Fitch did not actually downgrade Illinois' credit, it did put the state on a negative watch. Its analysts wrote that a 2015 tax cut, plus an unwillingness to control revenues, has resulted in a "marked deterioration" of the state's finances. Fitch says it's an "unprecedented level of political discord and dysfunction."

Politicians' reactions are emblematic of that discord: Gov. Bruce Rauner says it's all House Speaker Michael Madigan's fault; Madigan says it's Rauner's.

All of this as Illinois is set to go to market to sell bonds. Lower ratings mean that'll cost taxpayers here more money.