After credit downgrades, Rauner defends Illinois bond sale

Gov. Bruce Rauner says many bond buyers support the pro-business changes he's pushing and want to invest in Illinois despite its worst-in-the-nation credit rating.

The Republican said Tuesday that taking on more debt is appropriate because the money is for improvements to roads and bridges, not daily operating expenses.

Illinois will go to market Thursday to sell $550 million in bonds.

Rauner says Illinois has strengths including its location and the city of Chicago. Rauner says many bond buyers "have indicated confidence in what we're trying to do." He spoke at an Illinois Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Rauner and majority Democrats have been deadlocked over a state budget for almost a year, leading two rating agencies to downgrade Illinois' credit last week.

Democrats say Rauner's priorities will hurt working families.