Closer Look: Credit trouble costs Illinois money

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state of Illinois is running into credit trouble, just like anyone else who pays bills late and owes lots of money.

Two major agencies have lowered the Illinois credit rating this year. That generally means the state pays higher interest rates when it borrows money for road construction, school improvements and other public works.

The governor’s budget office says it can’t calculate how much that costs the state. But financial experts say it probably amounts to tens of millions of dollars each year.

Luckily, interest rates are very low right now, softening the blow to the state treasury.

Rating agencies say the downgrades are largely because officials haven’t fixed state pension problems.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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