Rauner defends plan to borrow $480M for building projects

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner says it’s “very appropriate” for Illinois to borrow $480 million to pay for improvements to roads and bridges and other construction projects. The Chicago Tribune reports Rauner’s administration is set to issue general obligation bonds on Jan. 14. Illinois has the lowest credit rating of any state in the U.S., which increases the state’s cost of borrowing money. The state also is facing a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall, and the Republican governor and Democrats who control the Legislature haven’t approved a spending plan for the fiscal year that began July 1. Rauner says it wouldn’t be appropriate to borrow money for day-to-day operations. But he said investing in infrastructure is “critical” to improving Illinois’ economy. His office says the state has “sufficient dedicated revenues to cover the payments.”