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Fitch says Illinois pension action ‘positive’

Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – A major credit-ratings agency says it sees Illinois lawmakers’ passage of pension legislation as a “positive” development.

Fitch Ratings issued a statement Wednesday, saying it will analyze the pension measure that the General Assembly passed on Tuesday. The ratings agency says that’s necessary to see if it enhances pension system funding and controls pension payments’ effect on the state budget. Fitch also says it believes a legal challenge to the legislation is likely.

But the agency says the action is a “positive indication” of the state’s willingness to address the issue.

Fitch rates Illinois an “A-” with a negative rating outlook. The agency says that’s its lowest rating for a U.S. state. Lower ratings mean paying higher interest rates on borrowed money.

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