SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — Monday State Treasurer Michael Frerich's urged Governor Bruce Rauner to suspend his campaign and initiate a budget.
The state has less than a month to put together a new budget, per the State Treasurer, because the Illinois could face another credit downgrade.
"It is embarrassing,” Frerich’s said at a press conference. “And downright shameful that Illinois is in this deep of a hole."
Right now, Frerich’s said Illinois has the most credit downgrades in all 50 states.
“Illinois cannot afford another credit downgrade,” the State Treasurer said. “The loss of Illinois’ investment grade rating, could cost us tens of millions of dollars in fees because it could terminate interest state swap contracts."
So, what does that mean?
According to the UIS’ Dean of Business and Management, the state has a credit score of 300, when the best is 750.
"What the six credit downgrades mean,” Dean Ron McNeil said. “If we don't start addressing this with actions in the next six months to a year, we are going to reach junk bond status."
“Junk bond status”, meaning higher default risk when it comes to borrowing money.
McNeil said this means safety may be jeopardized, for instance, vendors may stop paying for state trooper resources. He added universities could stop accepting students, and vital resources might go bankrupt.
“What is amazing is,” McNeil said. “A baby born 5 minutes ago, well, you know what, they owe $50,000."
But Deputy Governor Leslie Munger said it's not only the governor's responsibility.
“Instead of holding press conferences,” Munger said. “It would be helpful if he would encourage members of his party to work with the Governor on real change to get our state back on track.”
Frerich’s said he has written six letters to Governor Rauner about the budget, without one letter in return.
“This is not the Illinois we want it to be,” Frerich’s said.
Frerich's said the Moody's Investment Services is warning of yet another credit downgrade if a budget is not passed by May 31.