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Ill. treasurer, governor say pension action needed

Published: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 4:00 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Treasurer Dan Rutherford says Illinois' credit rating downgrade is likely to cost taxpayers more in interest when the state issues bonds.

Standard & Poor's lowered Illinois' credit rating Friday due to concern over the state's failure to address its $96 billion pension fund deficit. Rutherford says lawmakers' inaction has Illinois "headed for financial disaster."

Gov. Pat Quinn said earlier Friday that rating agencies won't give Illinois better marks until the General Assembly passes pension reform.

Standard & Poor's said Friday that it downgraded Illinois' general obligation bonds from A to A-minus. The agency also gave an A-minus rating to $500 million in general obligation bonds that the state plans to issue in February. Ratings agencies have been downgrading Illinois' credit over the last several years.

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