Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says his state will pay an extra $130 million in interest on a bond issue this week due to lowered credit ratings because the state has not been able to solve its pension crisis. The state sold $1.3 billion in bonds to pay for transportation projects around the state, including redevelopment of a Chicago mass transit line, road repairs and new buildings at university campuses.
Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state in the nation, largely due to its $97 billion unfunded pension liability. Two major credit-rating agencies downgraded the state's rating to an all-time low after the General Assembly adjourned its spring session in May without agreeing on how to solve the problem. Quinn says the additional costs show that "legislative inertia has a price."