Immediately after another S&P downgrade for Illinois to an "A," lawmakers, office holders and candidates began reacting -
State Representative Candidate Susan Sweeney (R-55)
“The people of Illinois should not be surprised by this…they should be outraged. The politicians in Springfield knew full well that if they ignored the need for pension reform it would lead to a downgrade that will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Pat Quinn and the Democrats promised us that the largest tax increase in state history would help solve our problems by paying down our backlog of bills. Instead, our ballooning pension payment consumed all the revenue. All the tax increase did was chase more jobs away and leave taxpayers holding the bag.”
State Representative Candidate John Lawson (R-56)
“While politicians in the General Assembly claim that they are fixing the state’s budget problems, they have gone ahead and made them worse, yet again. Now, more than ever, we need elected officials that will go to Springfield to be independent and get common-sense solutions enacted. Unfortunately, Rep. Mussman has gone to Springfield to participate in her party’s financial dismantling of Illinois – actions that will result in more of our hard-earned incomes going into state coffers.”
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka
"Today's disappointing announcement by Standard & Poor's further highlights the importance of addressing Illinois' massive fiscal challenges. As Chief Fiscal Officer, I cannot stress how imperative it is that the Governor, Labor and Legislative leaders come to the table to address these problems. Standard & Poor's has provided yet another cautionary note that cannot be ignored, and Illinois has a responsibility to hear the message being sent. The rating agencies have made it clear that continued delay will trigger another downgrade. We cannot afford that - it is time to set aside the posturing and get this done."
Congressman Bobby Schilling (R)
"Following this move by S&P, out of all the states in the union, only California has a lower credit rating than Illinois. At least California can point to a 'positive' credit outlook. Illinois is still listed as 'negative.' We need real leadership in this state, and Pat Quinn is not providing it. Pension reform is a major issue for working families, and elected officials need to be adults and come to the table to get something done."
State Representative Candidate Bob Kalnicky (R-98)
"While the news of Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade Illinois' credit rating is a blow to Illinois taxpayers, the move doesn't come as a big surprise, but rather, an outrage. Years of ineffective leadership in Springfield have caused businesses and families to flee and have left us with an outstanding debt that it will take our state years to recover from. Pension reform is the can that we just keep kicking down the road, and now we're paying the price for inaction. Illinois can't survive another two years under Mike Madigan's destructive fiscal policies. We need to make a change now."
State Representative Candidate Neil Anderson (R-72)
“This will cost taxpayers millions in higher debt payments on top of the 9 billion in unpaid bills and at least 83 billion in pension debt. The state's leadership must be held accountable and voters have to demand a real change in direction. The politicians had a choice between reforming pensions and another costly downgrade. They made their choice and now it is time for the voters to make theirs.”
State Representative Candidate Pat Fee
“This is disappointing news, but not surprising. Illinois has fallen into a debt spiral and Springfield politicians choose to hide their heads in the sand and ignore the problem. The downgrade, coupled with unfunded pension and retiree healthcare benefits, will result in more unpaid bills. I am committed to restoring fiscal responsibility and making our state’s credit rating a top priority.”