The Tale of Two States continues: Wisconsin ends the year with a surplus. Illinois -- that laboratory of liberalism and  fiscal fecklessness -- continues to head in the opposite direction:

 
 
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service downgraded the state from an “A” rating to “A-minus”, making it the worst in the country.
 
The New York ratings firm’s ranking means taxpayers may have to pay tens of millions of dollars more in interest when the state borrows money for roads and other projects.
 
The downgrade now ties Illinois with California, but California has a positive outlook.
 
Illinois’ fragile overall financial status netted it a negative outlook, putting it behind California overall.