SPRINGFIELD – Thursday Illinois sold $350 million of taxable general obligation bonds via auction, the first bond sale since the General Assembly passed comprehensive pension reform. State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) - also GOP primary candidate for governor - believes those interest rates are proof that passing pension reform, while the tough choice, was the right choice.
“Voting for pension reform last week was by no means an easy vote, but today’s bond rates are proof that we made the right decision,” said Brady. “With this latest bond sale, our penalty decreased by 29%. That’s huge improvement and good news for Illinois.”
If one compares the state’s taxable bond rates to current U.S. Treasury rates, Illinois’ average rate is 2.51 percent higher than Thursday's 10-year Treasury rate. The state’s bonds sold in the spring were 3.10 percent over the Treasury rate. That means that pension reform helped lower Illinois rates by over a half-percent, Brady said.
“The bond sale isn’t the only positive indicator that passing pension reform is helping to improve Illinois’ financial outlook. Earlier this week Standard & Poor’s changed our bond rating outlook from negative to developing,” said Brady. “It is very possible that, depending on the implementation of pension reform and how we handle the budget, Illinois will see improvement in our bond ratings.”
Brady is running in the 2014 GOP primary to be the party's nominee against Pat Quinn in November. His running mate is former Long Grove mayor Maria Rodriguez.
He is the only one of the four GOP gubernatorial candidates that voted to support the pension reform bill last week in Springfield.