Illinois state government is getting a slightly better assessment from one of the major credit rating agencies. Fitch Ratings had Illinois’ budgetary outlook as “negative.” Now they’ve upgraded that to “stable.”
But Illinois’s debt still has the worst rating of any state in the nation — the lowest score one can have and still be considered a good investment.
Illinois NPR reports that Illinois’ current and previous budgets are only balanced because the state received an unexpected tax windfall in April.
Meanwhile, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is urging voters to approve a constitutional amendment next fall that would give the state a progressive income tax, where the wealthy pay more.
But Fitch says even if voters approve that, the state should use the increased money to pay down old bills — not create new programs.
That, Fitch says, is the only way Illinois can hope to improve its credit rating.