They all seem to be promising that they will finally offer "reforms" after the November elections during their lame duck session. The last lame duck session two years ago socked us with huge state income tax increases (from 3% to 5%) that Democrats assured us were "temporary" and would be "phased out" in a few short years. When voters and taxpayers hear the words "lame duck" they should become very afraid.
Hang onto your wallets folks. Even if you throw the bums out who have been busy running this state into the ground for the last decade, they still have one last chance to sock it to all of us! The spend and borrow gang just made things more expensive for all of us!
Mathias Statement on S&P Downgrade of Illinois’ Credit Rating
BUFFALO GROVE, IL – Today S&P lowered Illinois’ credit rating, citing Springfield’s inaction on pension reform. From the official release: “Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its rating on Illinois’ general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘A’ from ‘A+’. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s assigned its ‘A’ rating to the state’s $50 million GO bonds of September 2012. The outlook is negative. ‘The downgrade reflects the state’s weak pension funding levels and lack of action on reform measures intended to improve funding levels and diminish cost pressures associated with annual contributions,’ said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Robin Prunty.”
State Representative Sid Mathias today released the following statement in response:
“S&P has downgraded Illinois’ credit rating because Springfield has done nothing to reform a pension system that is in massive debt and is entirely unsustainable. We’re playing chicken with a freight train, and we wonder why we keep losing. We went down to Springfield two weeks ago under the guise of achieving pension reform, knowing full well that if we did nothing our credit rating would take a hit, and yet we were sent home without addressing this $85 billion unfunded liability. I called on my colleagues to no longer kick the can down the road and instead to stay in session for as long as it took to finally achieve pension reform, to no avail.
Unfortunately, it is the people of Illinois who lose in this scenario. Thanks to this credit downgrade, it will be more expensive to build schools and fix roads. It also puts us one step closer to bond markets closing to Illinois, a devastating result that was unimaginable just a few years ago. We must stop playing political games while daring credit rating agencies to take action against us. It’s time to come together to find an equitable solution to this pension mess, rescuing our children from this back-breaking debt while removing the uncertainty for Illinois workers.”
About Sid Mathias:
Sid Mathias, of Buffalo Grove, is a State Representative and the former Village President of Buffalo Grove. He was a practicing attorney for 38 years with offices in Arlington Heights, and his wife, Rita, is a retired teacher from School District #96. He has two married sons: Elliot, a graduate of Northwestern University, and Scott, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He and Rita have six grandchildren.