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June 6, 2013

After the state had its credit rating downgraded again because of a pension debacle, Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday called lawmakers into a special session “to finish the job.”

His announcement came minutes after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the state’s credit worthiness to A3 from A2, three levels above junk status. It was the second time in four days that a major assessor of Illinois’ $27 billion in outstanding bond indebtedness knocked the state’s rating down because of inaction on closing a $97 billion shortfall in five public-employee pension programs. Fitch Ratings earlier dropped its rating to A- from A.

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton adopted differing plans to catch up after decades of state underfunding of employee retirement programs, but neither proposal got approval in the opposite chamber before lawmakers adjourned the session.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

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