PEORIA IL – Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) issued the following statement after Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service reported it has downgraded Illinois by one notch to an A-minus rating. In August, S&P lowered Illinois to A from A-plus in August 2012. S&P cites the reason for the downgrade on the inability of the state to tackle the looming fiscal challenges it faces including the state’s unfunded public pension liability.
“The people of Illinois today received yet another reminder of the negative and costly consequences of total one-party rule for a decade. This additional credit downgrade will result in more of Illinoisans’ tax dollars being spent on higher interest rates instead of in our classrooms, for healthcare or building infrastructure.
“The flagship credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s (S & P) is obviously unimpressed that one-party supermajorities in both the Illinois House and Senate, along with the Governorship, offers any more hope that current Illinois leaders will step up with the leadership required to stop Illinois’ downward economic spiral.
“Today, S & P said: ‘While legislative action on pension reform could occur during the current legislative session and various bills have been filed, we believe that legislative consensus on reform will be difficult to achieve given the poor track record in the past two years.’
“The Illinois Policy Institute recently published information from United Van Lines (UVL) —‘America’s largest moving company’ — which found Illinois was number one in the nation for OUT migration in 2011 and second in 2012. This trend increases Illinois’ financial crisis as it shrinks the tax base, compounding our problems.
“With disastrous consequences for the people of Illinois, our state ranks in the bottom one, two or three states in the nation in every measure of economic performance and opportunity. It is time those vested with the unparalleled power of total control of Illinois government measure up to the responsibility bestowed upon them —it’s time to lead or get out of the way.”