Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its rating on Illinois' general obligation (GO) bonds to A from A-plus. At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its A rating to the state's $50 million GO bonds of September 2012. The outlook is negative.

"The downgrade reflects the state's weak pension funding levels and lack of action on reform measures intended to improve funding levels and diminish cost pressures associated with annual contributions," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Robin Prunty. "The downgrade also reflects continued financial weakness despite significant measures in the past two years to improve structural budget performance," added Prunty.

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