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Moody's Upgrades Illinois' Bond Rating For First Time Since 1998

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced some good financial news for Illinois.

The Moody's credit rating agency has upgraded the state's bond rating for the first time in more than 20 years.

A higher bond rating generally means lower interest rates on state borrowing – potentially saving taxpayers millions.

Pritzker's office said in a news release that the governor has focused since taking office on more responsible fiscal management.

"I promised to restore fiscal stability to Illinois, and Moody's ratings upgrade demonstrates that Illinois' finances are heading in the right direction for the first time in two decades. A ratings upgrade pays momentous dividends for taxpayers, and the people of Illinois deserve credit for their incredible resilience and determination," said Pritzker said in a news release.

Moody's upgraded the state's rating on its General Obligations bonds from Baa3, with a stable outlook, to Baa2, with a stable outlook. The bond for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority – the joint city-state body that owns McCormick Place and Navy Pier – also rose from Baa3 to Ba1 based on state support, and Build Illinois bonds were upgraded From Baa2 to Baa3.

Moody's last upgraded Illinois' bond rating in 1998. The new upgrade credited "material improvements" with only "constrained use of federal aid."

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