fitch 062821LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — State Senators Julie Morrison, Adriane Johnson and Melinda Bush are pleased to see Fitch Ratings – one of the three major credit rating agencies for state governments and other large borrowers – has upgraded Illinois’ outlook from negative to positive.

The Lake County senators released the following statements:

“The responsible, balanced budgets that we have passed put us on a positive path toward fixing our financial outlook and saving taxpayers money,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “The bond status upgrade will continue to put our state in a more financially stable position.”

“The cost-saving initiatives made over the last year — while also prioritizing the health, safety and needs of Illinoisans during a global pandemic — are proving to pay off,” said Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove). “It is gratifying to see the choices we’ve made send the state in a positive direction.”

“Despite being in a pandemic for more than a year, we made positive strides in reducing spending while cutting down our bill backlog,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “The recognition from Fitch’s is additional proof that Illinois is moving in the right direction making responsible fiscal decisions.”

Fitch’s is the third ratings agency to upgrade the state’s forecast, in addition to Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s.

Highlights from Fitch’s analysis include:

·         “Recent fiscal results and the enacted fiscal 2022 budget suggest further improvements in operating performance and structural balance in the near and medium-term that could support a return to the pre-pandemic rating or higher.”

·         “Recent improvements including reduction in accounts payable and enacting plans for early retirement of federal pandemic loans, signal improvement in budget management.”

·         “Broadly, the state reports a $1 billion reduction in total general fund spending for fiscal 2022 ($42.3 billion) versus the current services estimate provided in November 2020. General fund base operating spending remains flat in the fiscal 2022 enacted budget versus fiscal 2021 at $30.8 billion. Funding for K-12 and higher education is up 3%, including a $350 million increase for K-12.”