Credit Rating Agency Warns Illinois State Lawmakers

Date: September 02, 2015

Illinois’ budget stalemate is heating up, and the stakes for small business owners and taxpayers appear higher than ever.

This week, the credit rating agency Moody’s warned lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner about the potentially dire consequences of not reaching a budget deal by September’s end. The credit rating agency highlighted the state’s “weak governance,” and pointed to its $5 billion budget hole. The state already has the lowest credit rating in the nation.

Meanwhile, the state Senate overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the union arbitration bill by a vote of 38-15. The bill, which would refer labor negotiations with the state employee unions to binding arbitration, is backed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

“Every senator who voted to overturn our veto chose special interests over the taxpayers,” Rauner said in a statement. “They made it abundantly clear that they’d rather raise taxes than stand up to the politically powerful. It is now up to House members to take the responsible, pro-taxpayer position and uphold our veto.”

This week, the House also attempted their own override.

Supporters of the bill argue that is aimed at preventing a large scale public employee strike. Rauner maintains that the talks would be decided by non-elected officials—with billions of tax dollars at stake.

Newspaper editorial boards around the state have supported Rauner’s position. “Senators should not override — it was a bad bill that deserved the veto pen,” according to the Chicago Tribune. “The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees badly wants this bill made law. AFSCME believes this proposal would be a better gamble for obtaining a more favorable contract than its bargainers would get by negotiating with Rauner.”

Interestingly, if it becomes law it only stand for 4 years—a move designed to ensure it coincides with Rauner’s term.  

“If it is such great public policy,” asks NFIB/IL State Director Kim Maisch, “why not make it forever?” 

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Illinois

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