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State

S&P lowers Illinois credit rating, blames pensions

CHICAGO – Standard & Poor's rating services has lowered Illinois' credit rating, blaming the state's pension problems.

The New York-based agency said Friday that the rating on the state's general obligation bonds was downgraded to A- from A. The agency also gave an A- rating to $500 million in general obligation bonds that the state plans to release in February. The agency says the outlook is negative.

Standard & Poor's credit analysts say the downgrade reflects what the agency sees as the state's "weakened pension-funded rations" and lack of action on reform measures to improve the state's worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. Illinois has a $96 billion pension deficit.

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