Illinois’ governor is defending the recent bond sale for infrastructure, even after a report says the state could have gotten millions more if finances were better.
The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois says last week’s $480 million bond sale brought in just over $514.9 million, which is $53 million less than it would have received had the bonds been priced as they were 10 years ago.
Governor Bruce Rauner dismisses the criticism saying he hears a different message from the market and bond holders. Rauner said earlier this week “you know what they say to me? ‘Governor, you’re on the right track. You’re cleaning up that mess.’ So the market is the market,” Rauner said. “We’ve got to continue to grow our economy and we need infrastructure or we can’t grow our economy and the bonds are appropriate.”
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However, Cato Institute Economist Chris Edwards says bonds aren’t a good idea at all, even for construction projects.
“Those activities should be funded by current revenues,” Edwards said. “Going into debt just pushes the cost into future generations.”
Meanwhile IGPA says Illinois will need to issue much more annual debt than in the past to address its growing infrastructure needs.