Tick Tock: 714 Days Without a Budget
Another Day, Another Downgrade
Chicago, IL – Bruce Rauner’s manufactured crisis is causing yet another bond downgrade, this time hitting the Chicagoland public transportation system. Yesterday, Moody’s downgraded the general obligation bonds of the Regional Transportation Authority, the government body that encompasses the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace and Pace Paratransit Service.
This latest downgrade comes days after seven public universities’ bonds were cut — five to junk status — and not even two weeks after Moody’s and S&P both downgraded State of Illinois bonds on the same day.
Moody’s cites the record-setting budget impasse orchestrated by Bruce Rauner as the prime factor in their RTA downgrade:
After two years of failed negotiations, and operating with substantial budget deficits, the state has allowed a backlog of bill payments to reach record levels, putting pressure on many public- and private-sector entities awaiting state payments, including the RTA.
So how can the state stop the bleeding and prevent more downgrades? Moody’s says the primary way to turn this financial meltdown around is by ensuring a “more dependable flow of state aid funds, reducing the need for short-term borrowings.” In other words, Bruce Rauner needs to pass a budget.
“Credit downgrades have become routine in Bruce Rauner’s Illinois, as debt skyrockets, revenue falls, and uncertainty reigns,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “We’ve gone 714 days without a budget and downgrades are hitting us left and right, but Rauner remains committed to forcing his right-wing agenda on Illinois. This is a fiscal collapse that will only get worse as Bruce Rauner continues to refuse to act.”