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Rutherford: Credit Downgrade Could Cost State $95 Million

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois’ Treasurer says yesterday’s move to further lower the state’s credit rating will cost taxpayers dearly.

Standard and Poor’s decision to lower Illinois’ credit from A to A- comes just days ahead of plans to issue $500 million in bonds.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says worst in the nation status means paying much more over the life of those bonds.

“We estimate that it is costing the taxpayers by not being AAA, about $95 million more in interest,” said Rutherford.

The downgrade comes after Governor Quinn and lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on the state’s overwhelming pension debts. Rutherford suggests changing cost of living adjustments and means testing for retiree benefits as ways to fix the pension mess.

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