A second major rating agency is downgrading Illinois' credit worthiness. Moody's Investors Service lowered the state's $27 billion in outstanding bond debt to A3 from A2. The new rating's three levels above junk status.
Illinois Democrats continued approving a new state budget on party-line votes. The Senate approved spending plans for education -- from elementary and high schools to colleges and universities -- with funding pretty much at last year's level.
Cuts proposed earlier this year by Governor Pat Quinn did not materialize, partly because Illinois collected more tax money than it expected in April.
Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, says funding for higher education is critical because it's tied to the problem of unemployment.
One of the toughest issues facing Illinois lawmakers is moving along in the legislature. The House approved a plan supported by House Speaker Michael Madigan this afternoon. It now moves to the Senate.
UPDATE: The Illinois House is poised to vote Thursday on an overhaul of the state's pension systems. It would reduce state workers', teachers', and university employees' future retirement benefits. The plan easily advanced out of a House committee Wednesday morning.
There’s no deal on a pension reform plan at the Illinois Capitol…yet.
The Illinois House adjourned without a floor vote on a contentious plan to change the state’s troubled public employee pension system. An Illinois House committee today gave bi-partisan approval to a plan sponsored by Representative Elaine Nekritz. She says she expects it to be called for a vote by the House Tuesday, at the earliest.