Dave Dahl -- Illinois Radio Network

The budget downgrades in Illinois have been extended to universities – six of them in Illinois.

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the credit rating of Eastern Illinois, Governors State, Northeastern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Western Illinois Universities.

“It actually means nothing to us, financially,” says Western budget director Matt Bierman, “because we're not ready to sell new debt. If we were going to sell new debt, it would certainly have an impact on our interest rate.”

It's certainly no morale-booster.

“We're still educating students,” Bierman stresses. “Regardless of your politics, higher education in Illinois is still pumping out graduates. We're building the future economy one grad at a time. The state needs to realize that needs to continue.”

Moody's also notes that the universities are to an extent victims of the lack of a state budget – and also that once there is a budget, the higher education part of it is likely to be cut.

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