Fitch downgrades Illinois’ credit rating due to budget fight

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CHICAGO — A major credit rating agency has downgraded Illinois’ rating on outstanding bonds because of the state budget crisis.

Fitch Ratings on Monday lowered the rating on $26 billion in general obligation bonds from A- to BBB+. That’s a few levels above what’s considered “junk” status.

Fitch cites lawmakers’ failure to pass a budget for the July 1 fiscal year, above-average debt and “exceptionally high” unfunded pension liabilities.

Catherine Kelly is spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. She says Rauner is fighting to “put the state on the path to fiscal health,” but the Democrat-led Legislature is standing in his way.

Rikeesha Phelon is spokeswoman for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. She says Illinoiscan’t afford for Rauner “to prioritize his corporate class agenda over basic budget math and governing.”