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updated: 4/9/2014 4:20 PM

Credit agency says state budget at 'pivotal' juncture

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Another major credit-rating house says the next 50 days of Illinois state budget-making will be "pivotal" to the state's financial health.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services issued the statement Wednesday.

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Lawmakers must approve a budget for the coming year by the end of May. Gov. Pat Quinn proposed a budget last month that relies on making a temporary income tax increase permanent to avoid a $1.8 billion revenue hole.

S&P says the plan could help the state's finances by preventing sharp spending reductions. But it noted the budget still leans on nonrecurring revenue such as an inter-fund loan and reliance on Medicaid reform and other cost-containment.

Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings issued similar outlooks last week.

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