Moody's Downgrades More Illinois Universities - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moody's Downgrades More Illinois Universities

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Moody's has downgraded $1.56 billion of debt issues by the University of Illinois and lowered the ratings of six other state universities. Those include Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University and Governors State University.

"As state leaders continue to put off work on necessary pension reform, Moody's Investors Service has more bad news for Illinois," said Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford in a statement.

The state's downgrade means that when Illinois tries to borrow money, it faces a higher interest rate, just like someone who tries to get a car loan with maxed out credit cards.

"Though these additional downgrades should sound an alarm, I am not sure state leaders will allow themselves to hear it," explained Treasurer Rutherford.  "The Moody's report states that these universities are being downgraded because they rely heavily on the state of Illinois for finances; and as we should all know by this point, the state's pension funding crisis is suffocating other essential spending."  Moody's did note that further inaction on pension reform will continue to add pressure to state operating appropriations.

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