Friday, June 16, 2017

Land Of Loose Change

Illinois goes there?
Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection could be extended to states if Congress took up the issue, although Stanford Law School professor Michael McConnell noted in an article last year that he believed the precedents are iffy for extending the option to states. Nevertheless, Illinois is in a serious financial pickle, which is why radical options such as bankruptcy are being floated as potential solutions.

Ratings agency Moody's Investor Service earlier this month downgraded Illinois' general obligation bonds to its lowest investment grade rating, citing the state's growing pile of unpaid bills and its mounting pension deficit. Illinois, by the way, has the lowest credit rating of any state. Lower ratings mean higher borrowing costs, since lenders view such borrowers as riskier bets.

"Legislative gridlock has sidetracked efforts not only to address pension needs but also to achieve fiscal balance, allowing a backlog of bills to approach $15 billion, or about 40 percent of the state's operating budget," the agency noted.

As noted by the Fiscal Times, Illinois is the only state that's been operating without a balanced and complete budget for almost two years.

"We're like a banana republic. We can't manage our money," Gov. Bruce Rauner said after the Illinois Legislature failed to produce a full 2017 budget earlier this month.
And they can't afford the bananas...

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