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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Two Positive Credit-Ratings Notices For Illinois

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Two of three major bond-rating firms have chimed in with a positive note on the financial outlook for Illinois.

S&P Global Ratings issued a notice Monday that a House vote to raise $5 billion through an income-tax increase "represents a meaningful step toward the enactment of a comprehensive budget."

Illinois has been without a budget for two years. It has a $6.2 billion deficit and backlogged bills total $14.7 billion. The major credit agencies had warned of a downgrade to "junk" status without swift action.

S&P cautioned that even with a budget "it's likely that Illinois' finances would remain strained and vulnerable to unanticipated economic stresses."

Fitch Ratings issued a similar notice Monday morning, a day after the House vote. But the measure's fate remains unclear in the Senate, which was expected to take up the measure Monday.

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