From Fox Chicago:
Another day, another downgrade for Illinois amid its budgetary and pension problems.Chicago Democrat Michael Madigan has been speaker of the House since 1983--except for two years in the 1990s. He's also the chairman of the state Democratic Party. His daughter is the attorney general of Illinois. Madigan's grotesquely gerrymandered legislative districts have put Democratic supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.
S&P Global Ratings on Friday dropped the state's credit rating one notch — from BBB+ to BBB, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The downgrade on the state's general obligation bonds came with a hefty warning that things could get worse without significant pension reform and a budget fix: "We could lower our rating should the state continue to demonstrate a lack of ability or willingness to adopt a long-term structural budget solution that also incorporates a credible approach to its long-term liabilities," S&P wrote in its downgrade report. "It also reflects our view that Illinois' ability to maintain adequate debt-paying capacity is becoming increasingly challenge the longer the political gridlock in Springfield plays out."
Factors for the downgrade included a long history of "structural imbalance" that limits the state’s ability to curb its spending without a budget; “top leadership’s highly polarized views on how to address Illinois' fiscal imbalance”; a large operating deficit of about $6 billion which could rise up to $11 billion by 2017 without a budget compromise; $111 billion in unfunded pension liability; and a high debt burden, the rating agency said.
The Illinois disaster is Mike Madigan's disaster. And if you are an Illinois voter who votes for a Democratic General Assembly candidate, you are part of the problem. Yes, because of gerrymandering there are many candidates running unopposed this autumn, but if you are confronted with a "D" running for the GA without an opponent, just skip that race. Even a weak message to the bosses is better than no message at all.