CHICAGO (CBS) — To avoid the state’s bond rating from slipping to junk status, Illinois Treasure Mike Frerichs is offering advice to Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Speaking as the state’s chief investment officer, Frerichs says if Rauner does not take specific steps to reassure credit rating agencies that further downgrades of the state are not needed, the effects would be “ruinous.”
He even spelled out the steps he believes Rauner should take.
“Go to New York — make visible progress on the bond issuance; make sure local schools open on time; communicate with employers what needs to be done to smoothly implement the new tax rate; and dial down the rhetoric.”
Frerichs said should Rauner not take these steps, that, in turn, he’s inviting a junk rating.
The Democrat says Illinois is already paying two and a half percent more in interest to borrow because of its low credit rating.
“I believe that the Governor is a very successful investor. And, as such, he understands the danger of junk bond status.” Frerichs added, however, that he believes Rauner has never navigated the “tall weeds of government.”
Frerichs said those weeds include more work ahead with Democrats and the legislator to ensure the state’s first budget in over two years is carried out.
No word from the Governor’s Office.