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Bond-rating agency calls pension-reform deal 'positive' development

Lawmakers work toward passing pensilegislatiwhile House floor during sessiIllinois State Capitol Tuesday Dec. 3 2013 Springfield Ill.  (AP Photo/Seth

Lawmakers work toward passing pension legislation while on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 in Springfield Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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SPRINGFIELD-One of Wall Street’s bond-rating agencies that has ranked Illinois as the least credit-worthy state in the country called the Legislature’s passage of pension-reform legislation a “positive” development Wednesday.
Fitch Ratings “views the passage of pension reform legislation in Illinois yesterday as a positive indication of the state’s willingness to take action on this complicated issue after many failed attempts,” the company said in a statement.
The company has rated Illinois debt at A-, with a negative outlook, which is the lowest ranking of any state.
Fitch’s statement did not offer any indication whether it intended to boost the state’s bond rating once Gov. Pat Quinn signs the pension legislation.
“Fitch has stated that pension reform that enhances the funding levels of the pension systems and controls the growing impact of pension payments on the budget is necessary to stabilize the credit and will analyze the reform to determine the extent to which it does,” the company said.
“Supporters have stated that the reforms will save $160 billion over the next 30 years; however, the actual impact of the reform will not be entirely known until an actuarial study has been completed,” Fitch said.

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