Moody's and S&P cut Illinois’s bond rating to one step above junk as Springfield fails to reach a budget deal, and other Chicago news | Bleader

Moody's and S&P cut Illinois’s bond rating to one step above junk as Springfield fails to reach a budget deal, and other Chicago news

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Governor Bruce Rauner, accompanied by senate Republican leader Christine Radogno and house Republican leader Jim Durkin, speaks at a press conference Wednesday. - RICH SAAL/THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP
  • Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP
  • Governor Bruce Rauner, accompanied by senate Republican leader Christine Radogno and house Republican leader Jim Durkin, speaks at a press conference Wednesday.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Friday, June 2, 2017. Have a great weekend!

  • Illinois's bond rating cut to one step above junk as Springfield again fails to reach a budget deal

Moody's Investors Services and S&P Global Ratings cut Illinois's bond rating to one step above junk status on Thursday, the lowest ranking on record for a U.S. state, the Tribune reports. The downgrade was announced just hours after the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner failed to reach a budget deal by the May 31 deadline. Illinois has been operating without a budget since July 1, 2015. "The rating actions largely reflect the severe deterioration of Illinois' fiscal condition, a byproduct of its stalemated budget negotiations, now approaching the start of a third fiscal year," S&P analyst Gabriel Petek said in a statement. "The unrelenting political brinkmanship now poses a threat to the timely payment of the state's core priority payments." [Tribune]

  • Illinois senate passes Chicago elected school board legislation

The Illinois senate approved a bill calling for an elected school board in Chicago with a 53-2 vote Wednesday evening. The measure would effectively end the mayor's ability to control Chicago Public Schools by appointing the school board. It would go into effect in 2023 and create 15 board seats as opposed to the current seven. The first version of the bill easily passed the house, which now has to vote on the legislation as amended by the senate, which is significantly different. A vote is expected at the end of the month, when legislators return. The house and senate also approved legislation that would increase the state's minimum wage to $15 by 2022 and sent it on to Governor Rauner, who along with other Republican leaders has already announced his opposition. [DNAinfo Chicago] [Tribune]

  • Report: Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Prizker discussed political appointments with Blagojevich in 2008

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker told then-governor Rod Blagojevich in a 2008 phone call that he was "really not that interested" in the U.S. Senate seat vacated by president-elect Barack Obama and that the office of Illinois treasurer was instead "the one I would want." The calls, which were secretly recorded by federal agents investigating Blagojevich and were first revealed by the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, prompted a quick response from Pritzker, who told reporters, "Look, there was nothing inappropriate about my conversation with the governor. It should be unsurprising to people that after 25 years of doing public service in a variety of ways that when an opportunity might have arisen for me to do public service that I would be willing to do that. And that was what the conversation was all about." [Tribune]

  • The battle over gentrification around the 606 has intensified

Alderman Proco Joe Moreno and Robert Maldonado have proposed using high fees to deter new residential construction along the 606 trail. The plan's supporters hope that the measure will curb gentrification and allow longtime residents of the area to remain in their homes. Others are adamantly opposed to the plan: "It's asinine. It's going to crush home values and leave the neighborhood full of 100-year-old eyesores that people can't afford to fix up," Brittany Fortier, who lives one block south of the trail, told Crain's Chicago Business. [Crain's]

  • Chance the Rapper wants his daughter to attend a CPS school

Chance the Rapper wants his daughter to attend a Chicago Public School, which is one of the reasons he recently donated $1 million to the district. "I'm a new parent and I want my daughter to be a CPS kid, and if there's no more CPS then how's that gonna happen? I'm trying to play my part," the alumnus of Jones College Prep said during an appearance on ABC's The View Thursday. But Chance, whose given name is Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, also said he has no desire to take things further by running for office. "Politics is the reason why a lot of stuff doesn't get done. There's a lot of limitations." [Rolling Stone]

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