Illinois governor signs bill for $1.1 billion of bonds

CHICAGO, July 22 Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:14pm EDT

CHICAGO, July 22 (Reuters) - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday signed legislation to fund state-wide transportation projects with $1.1 billion of bonds.

The Democratic governor said the projects will improve roads, bridges and other infrastructure, create jobs and boost economic development.

However, according to Abdon Pallasch, the state's assistant budget director, no bond sales are currently planned for the rest of 2014.

States often stockpile bond authorizations, tapping them as money is needed.

The state was the fourth-biggest issuer of bonds in the U.S. municipal bond market in the first half of 2014, selling nearly $2.43 billion of bonds in four deals, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Illinois also has the lowest GO credit ratings among states due to its $100 billion unfunded pension liability and chronic structural budget deficit. (Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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