St. Charles, Illinois–While Illinois is hit with yet another downgrade of its debt, one candidate for the legislature has a record of winning credit upgrades by cutting spending and building strong financial reserves.
“In the midst of the great recession, while municipalities, counties, states and even the United States of America have seen their debt downgraded, Kane County has been upgraded by multiple rating agencies because of our conservative fiscal policies and our commitment to a sound balance sheet,” said Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, candidate for the State Senate in the 33rd District.
Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the State of Illinois to A2 rating, making it the worst credit risk among the 50 states. The company cited the state’s inability to effectively deal with its budget shortfall and institute structural financial reforms. See story
In 2010, Moody’s upgraded Kane County’s debt rating to Aa1. In 2009 Standard & Poor’s upgraded the county to AA+, citing the County’s “maintenance of very strong financial reserves despite challenges faced by decreasing revenue streams.”
Standard & Poor’s credits McConnaughay’s financial stewardship in making their upgrade, noting that Kane County “has been able to build and sustain strong reserves due to conservative fiscal management.”
“We need more legislators who understand what is needed to reverse this devastating trend in our state’s debt,” said McConnaughay. ”Every downgrade costs the state millions in debt service and it falls on Illinois families and businesses to foot the bill. I have been able to turn this trend around in Kane County during a recession when our property tax base was collapsing, and we did it by fighting to reduce spending and the size of government.”
Kane County’s recently passed Fiscal Year 2012 general fund budget is $7 million less, in real dollars, than the general fund budget passed in FY06. In the same period, total employee headcount for departments under the Board’s supervision has decreased 25%.
“The Governor and legislature must stop making excuses,” said McConnaughay. ”I’ll bring my unique experience and record to Springfield and fight to get our fiscal house in order like we have in Kane County.”
The 33rd Senate District includes northeastern Kane and southeastern McHenry Counties.
To see the Standard & Poor’s report click here.