What Fitch's Downgrade Means to You

Fitch Ratings said Monday it would drop the Illinois rating
from “A” to “A-” based on lawmakers’ failure to enact a
solution to the state’s public-employee pension crisis
If the words budget, credit rating, bonds, debt, pensions and Medicaid reform cause your eyes to glaze over, you are not alone. That is precisely the reason the Democrat-controlled legislature was able to leave Springfield last week without reforming major budget pressures like pensions and Medicaid. It is also why they were able to ignore $7.5 billion in unpaid bills and even increase the state's debt causing our credit rating to plummet. They know its a difficult subject to understand for Illinoisans, who have their own financial troubles.

That move by the Democrat leadership will cost you plenty. It means a temporary tax increase will likely become permanent so that more of your hard earned money will go to the State of Illinois. It also means fewer Illinois jobs and at the same time less resources to help the unemployed. It will mean fewer improvements to the state's infrastructure like roads and bridges as well as less funding for your children's education, for your aging parents when they need it most and for veterans who bravely served this country.

You'll be paying more, getting less and enabling those who did this to the state to continue their irresponsible leadership. Their lack of action on these important issues will cost you plenty. While it may be too late to change the outcome for this year (unless the Governor calls a special session), it is not too late to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Pension and medicaid reform impact real people and they are not issues to be tackled lightly. But, they must be tackled because there will be real negative consequences for all Illinoisans if they are not. Below are links to a few articles that explain these budget issues. After reading them, share them with your friends, family and social networks. Contact your legislators and ask them about budget issues.

Let's start a conversation about good financial stewardship and perhaps next year we'll have a different outcome.

State credit downgraded; pension mess cited
Fitch downgrades Illinois after lawmakers fail to pass pension reform
Fitch Downgrades Illinois, Drowing in Pensions
Fitch Downgrades Illinois' GO Rating to 'A-'; Outlook Negative