WBEZ | Moody's Investors Service http://www.wbez.org/tags/moodys-investors-service Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Quinn says fixing credit requires reform http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-says-fixing-credit-requires-reform-95443 <p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said the state must get its pension debt under control this year.</p><p>At a press conference Tuesday, Quinn said pension reform would be one of his top priorities for the legislative session that starts January 31st.</p><p>Last year, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) worked on a bill that would give state workers, teachers and other members of the state's pensions systems - except police and fire personnel - choices over how to fund their pensions going forward.</p><p>One of the options would require them to pay more toward their retirements, a concept that some in the legal community believe is unconstitutional.</p><p>But inaction toward pensions gave Moody's Investors Service a reason last week to downgrade the state's credit rating to the worst in the country. That means borrowing money will cost Illinois taxpayers more going forward.</p><p>"We don’t want that. We want to be on the upgrade," Quinn said.</p><p>Moody's cited the state’s pension debt as one reason for the downgrade, saying political leaders, “Took no steps to implement lasting solutions.”</p><p>Quinn wouldn’t explain exactly how he plans to fix the problem but he blamed 30 years of inaction by the General Assembly and former governors for the debt.</p><p>"Our time has come. Our rendezvous with pension reality will come this year," he said.</p><p>He has formed a working group to look at options and says he’ll explain more during his State of the State Address on Feb. 1.</p></p> Wed, 11 Jan 2012 10:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-says-fixing-credit-requires-reform-95443