Standard & Poor's rating services has lowered Illinois' credit rating, blaming the state's pension problems. The New York-based agency says 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, and it does not not think lawmakers in Illinois will fully address the pension fund deficit . 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. The change is likely to cost taxpayers higher interest on amounts borrowed to do public infrastructure projects.
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