Moody's warns Illinois lawmakers of budget stalemate impact

Aug 31, 2015

A major credit rating agency is warning legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner that they need to reach a budget agreement by late September, or else incur massive financial problems.  

Moody's Investors Service says the stalemate is symptomatic of "severe" challenges, such as ballooning pension payments, debt costs and dwindling revenues, as a 2011 temporary income tax increase rolls back. 

Moody's says Illinois' projected budget hole is about $5 billion, and addressing it will become harder if lawmakers approach the September end of the fiscal quarter without a budget deal. 

The Republican governor and Democratic-controlled Legislature haven't agreed on a July 1 fiscal year budget. Money is still being spent, including through court orders. 

Rating agencies have given Illinois the worst rating of any U.S. state.