Non-action on pension issue sparks Illinois credit downgrade

      One of the three major ratings agencies has downgraded the value of Illinois state government credit.

      Fitch Ratings said Monday it would drop the Illinois rating from "A'' to "A-" based on lawmakers' failure to enact a solution to the state's public-employee pension crisis.

      Illinois already has the lowest rating in the nation. Lower ratings mean paying higher interest rates on borrowed money.

      Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to schedule a meeting of legislative leaders for Tuesday.

      Decades of state underfunding has left the five employee retirement systems $97 billion below what they need to cover future obligations.

      The House and Senate both enacted their own plans toward a solution, but neither chamber adopted the other's proposal.

      The Legislature adjourned its spring session Friday without taking any action.