Tuesday, June 29, 2021
“I couldn’t be happier that our hard work is producing results: the first rating upgrade for Illinois in two decades from Moody’s Investor Services,” Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza said. “This means lower costs for Illinois taxpayers. As you have seen in recent months, even in the middle of a global pandemic, my administration has successfully paid down a backlog of bills that just four years ago hit $16.7 billion – down to $2.9 billion today – and did so while prioritizing the most vulnerable people in our state.
“As your state Comptroller, I vowed to stay laser-focused on paying down the backlog of bills and earning a credit upgrade. Governor Pritzker, leaders of the General Assembly and I all agreed to use better-than-expected revenues this year to pay down bills and we did not over-commit the federal stimulus funds which – it should be noted here – have not yet arrived and are not the reason we were able to pay down these bills.”
As Moody’s said in its announcement today that it was raising the state’s status to Baa2 from Baa3, “The enacted fiscal 2022 budget for the state increases pension contributions, repays emergency Federal Reserve borrowings and keeps a backlog of bills in check with only constrained use of federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act.”