Illinois governor says SEC inquiry won't hurt planned bond sale

The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into statements Illinois leaders made about savings that could result from changing the state's pension system.

January 25, 2011

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission won’t interfere with the state’s plan to sell bonds next month.

Kelly Kraft, a spokeswoman for the governor, says the SEC began the inquiry in September. She says the agency is checking into statements Illinois officials made last spring about potential long-term savings from reforming the pension system.

Last summer, the SEC charged the state of New Jersey with failing to disclose to bond investors that it was underfunding its pension plans. Quinn says the Illinois inquiry probably grew out of that effort to improve disclosure to municipal bond investors.

"We want to make sure that we answer any and all questions," Quinn said. "We’re totally confident that everything we do here is done the right way and that’s the way it will always be."

Illinois plans to sell $3.7 billion worth of bonds on February 17th to make its current pension payments. Quinn says the state should have no problem attracting investors.