Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ah, a true vote of confidence

Would you lend money to Illinois? The State Treasurer wouldn't.
Illinois chief fiscal officer said Monday he is willing to dial up the bond houses and finance companies to alert them that lending the state more money, as Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed, would be a "major risk."

' 'If I need to send letters o the rating companies to tell them the treasurer of Illinois is opposed to more borrowing, I'm going to do that," said Republican Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Quinn, a Democrat, warned that without borrowing vendors and service providors would be left unpaid. In a statement, he challenged Rutherford to identify schools, state vendors and non-profits that should "continue to operate -- or close their doors -- while they wait for payment from the state."

The backlog of unpaid bills will reach $8 billion by July, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka recently estimated.

Rutherford says the debt from past borrowing has soared to $45 billion in recent years, which amounts to $10,000 for every household in the state. As a result, Illinois has the second-worst credit rating in the nation, above only California, he added.