We will use one article from the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore activists surrounding what ties much of these few weeks of public policy together. The need to stop global corporate campus development and instead rebuild our local economy with small businesses in each community-----how our tax revenue is being used for one corporate welfare project after another----and how the jobs being created are temporary and subject to Foreign Economic Zone policies taking wages to third world levels. This article brings as well the topic of health care which will be this week's public policy talk. Again, criticisms of labor and justice is not directed at grassroots citizens---it is directed at the capture of 1% Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal policies POSING PROGRESSIVE having a goal of killing our national sovereignty.
Just to remind folks what came from Affordable Care Act. Since ACA had a goal of ending access to most health care for over 80% of Americans pushing them to preventative health care only, Wall Street needed policy written that made people think they were getting more health care instead of losing access to all health care involving hospital and medical procedures every citizen for a century takes for granted. This is why we saw all the dental care and mental health care installed while citizens cannot access vital life and death ordinary hospital procedures. We don't see this right away but with this coming economic crash creating another PRETEND austerity----much funding for Medicare and Medicaid will disappear.
If we know the policies of ENTERPRISE ZONE has been posing progressive these few decades---with funding supposedly used to lift and rebuild underserved communities by sending stimulus towards small business development misappropriated to building global corporate campuses----then we KNOW this same policy directed now at MEDICAL/HEALTH ENTERPRISE ZONES will do the same. As we see this is yet another 'FREE MARKET' approach----this time the person creating these enterprise zone policies is clear that how these policies are being used will not meet the goals of enterprise zone policies.
ALL MARYLAND POLS VOTED FOR THESE POLICIES AND ALL KNOW IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PROVIDING HEALTH CARE ACCESS TO POOR. THEY KNOW ALL THE FUNDING AGAIN IS GOING TO BUILDING GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES.
These same health enterprise zone policies can be found in all International Economic Zones and will be that structure creating health care for the extreme wealth group vs this structure for preventative health care for the 99%.
Maryland Looks to Health Enterprise Zones to Reduce Disparities
Friday, February 24th, 2012 - 11:51
Urban development idea translated to health careIn the ever renewing efforts to find ways to improve care, Kaiser News reports that leaders in Maryland have latched onto Health Enterprise Zones (HEZ) as a way to reduce disparities, particularly among minorities. Enterprise zones build on reduced taxes, targeted federal and state tax incentives and regulatory relief to encourage investment in hard-hit areas where access to care and other determinants of health are leading to less than ideal outcomes.
The idea emanates from recommendations by the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council Health Disparities Workgroup, and has been endorsed by state leaders like Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean Dr. E. Albert Reece. The focus of Maryland HEZ's would be creating incentives for primary care providers to establish practices and integrate care with community based organizations. Furthermore, funds would be set aside to build health IT infrastructure with a focus on management on chronic illnesses.
Stuart Butler from the Heritage Foundation, who years ago helped develop the original "enterprise zone" in the urban development sector, cautions modeling the approach. The main issue that gums up effective implementation has been targeting appropriate programs that achieve results when big dollars and tax benefits are at stake, particularly when big-city politics intervene. In spite of those issues, Butler sees potential for applying a free market approach to health disparities.
Here we see where the bulk of Medical Enterprise Zone funding is going----to those same BIOTECH medical research facilities attached to what are global health tourism and telemedicine corporate campuses as in Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. All these funds again saying its about the poor----are again going to build that telemedicine structure that will have over 80% of Americans tied to only accessing health care through computer screens. All of the preventative care is going to national medical chains. Again, we see all that funding funneled into the same INNOVATION ECONOMY. It is this same STARTUP/INNOVATION economy Wall Street is telling us will create jobs and more access to health care for the poor.
Below we see the same policy in UK----the same policy in Middle-East International Economic Zones and it is all geared towards health tourism and global telemedicine. How many jobs will telemedicine create eliminating the physical structures in our communities and leaving WE THE PEOPLE with a global customer service number to call when we have problems?
Maryland is of course strong on giving global corporation more and more of our tax revenue to consolidate health care in every form to these global corporate ACO health system monopolies.
WE ALREADY KNOW THEY ARE CREATING DEREGULATED HEALTH MONOPOLIES ---HOW DOES THAT ALWAYS END FOR THE CONSUMER?
Life science sector boosted by enterprise zones
Department for Communities and Local Government and Kris Hopkins MP
2 July 2014
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Enterprise Zones and Research and development
This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Funding for Harlow Enterprise Zone will get construction work started on state-of-the-art science park.
More than £5 million of public funding for Harlow Enterprise Zone will get construction work started on a state-of-the-art science park particularly suited for life science and biotechnology firms.
A £2.5 million loan from the government’s Local Infrastructure Fund will be matched by a loan from Harlow Council. This funding will leverage in further private finance to provide facilities that will be suitable for a range of companies including IT and health firms.
Enterprise zones are boosting the UK’s pharmaceutical and life science sectors and attracting an increasing number of firms keen to make use of the benefits that the zones bring.
The Harlow zone will house the Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus which will provide one of the world’s largest health innovation spaces for companies of all sizes. The campus will be suitable for a wide range of firms, from start-ups to large corporations.
Local Growth Minister Kris Hopkins said:
This country is internationally renowned for its expertise in life sciences and biotechnology and the government is determined to support these important sectors everywhere possible.
Enterprise zones are proving to be great news for these sectors by bringing complementary companies together in an environment where they can work closely with each other and thrive.
This investment in Harlow is showing that our long term economic plan to secure a better future by spreading businesses, jobs and skills across the country is working.
The UK has one of the strongest and most productive life sciences sectors in the world with more than 4,500 companies, employing around 167,000 people and a total annual turnover of over £50 billion.
The government set up the 24 zones as a 25-year project to rebalance the economy and create future centres of excellence in key industries such as pharmaceutical, offshore energy and automotive. Since they opened in April 2012, the zones have already attracted 290 businesses, secured £1.2 billion of private sector investment and created thousands of local jobs.
Alongside Harlow, several other zones are attracting life science companies including those in Kent and Nottingham.
Harlow Enterprise Zone, Essex
The investment in Harlow enables infrastructure work to begin on the 20-acre enterprise zone site. This will be backed up by major investment from the private sector.
This funding combined with the developer’s private finance will see the demolition of some unusable buildings, the refurbishment of others and bring in new power and telecommunications supplies. The funding will then clear the way for the large-scale investment of a new science park and data centre campus.
Construction work will start later this year, heralding the renewal of an important site in the town that will create new jobs and restore its former glory by creating a world class twenty-first century business park.
John Keddie, Vice-Chairman of the Harlow Enterprise Zone Board, said:
The enterprise zone is now making great progress and we will see significant activity on the site over the next year, with a new road connection starting in November. This announcement of infrastructure funding will start the transformation of the Nortel site, once at the vanguard of innovation with the invention of fibre optic cable.
We also look forward to welcoming Anglia Ruskin University’s Med Tech Campus to the enterprise zone since this will provide a strong interface between business innovation and academic expertise.
Essex County Council and Anglia Ruskin University are finalising details of a funding package to enable the development of a new Medical Technology Innovation Centre at the Harlow Enterprise Zone London Road site. The innovation centre would be the location for start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) as well as international companies in the initial stages of locating to the MedTech Campus.
MediCity, Nottingham Enterprise Zone
MediCity is the UK’s rapidly-growing health, beauty and wellness innovation hub. Based within the Nottingham Enterprise Zone on the Boots site in Beeston, MediCity is a collaboration between Boots and BioCity, the UK’s leading life sciences incubation business.
The hub has attracted 20 companies since February this year and already hosts events and conferences for the UK med tech and healthcare sectors. Start-up and established companies are benefitting from BioCity’s proven track record in developing the right ecosystem for companies in the sector to thrive, and from the innovation and product development knowledge of Boots UK.
The companies are working in a number of health-related areas including clinical diagnostics, human performance, body-care, apps for remote health monitoring, water purification and human regenerative medicine.
One thing everyone tied to universities tied to LIBERAL ARTS, HUMANITIES, or just plain public universities relying on Federal, state, and local revenue know-----they cannot compete in THIS NEW NORMAL in funding for STEM---including health care. In Baltimore as always Johns Hopkins receives 90% of government funding while our public universities compete for what is left. As our Historically Black Colleges know----so does University of Maryland Medical System----
THEY WILL NOT BE RECEIVING THAT FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL HIGHER-EDUCATION FUNDING AND THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMPETE FOR THIS NEW WAY OF GETTING WHAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN GIVEN TO OUR PUBLIC RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES-----NIH, NCI, NSF funding.
THIS IS NOT THE NEW NORMAL---THIS IS POLICY WE NEED TO REVERSE.
As with every other tax revenue distribution policy----what was coming to build local public economic structures is now set to be funneled only to global health corporation systems. What happens when Johns Hopkins expands its campus to the entire city center and gets 90% of research funding? University of Maryland Medical System cannot compete and allows itself to be enfolded into Hopkins' medical campus. This is what the fight from University of Maryland College Park is about----they want to enfold UMMS into their global corporate campus International Economic Zone in Prince George's County.
NEITHER HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH HEALTH CARE ACCESS FOR THE POOR----OR FOR OVER 80% OF AMERICANS WHO WILL BE POOR VERY SOON.
Below is an article from ground zero for international economic zone policies and the state where all that is public has been squashed decades ago----Texas. All of these policies are claiming to build structures for the poor but it will not---this is all global corporate R & D and anything that comes from this will be patented and go right to being high-priced as new brands.
The New Normal in Funding
by Daniel J. Howard, Frank N. Laird
Government funding for academic research will remain limited, and competition for grants will remain high. Broad adjustments will be needed—and here’s a plan.
Science policy analysts have focused recently on the federal budget sequester and the dramatic effects it could have on funding scientific R&D in U.S. universities, certainly a serious problem. But looking only at the sequester misses the larger picture. The sequester simply makes acute a chronic condition that has been getting worse for years. Even if Congress removed the sequester tomorrow and R&D funding returned to pre-sequester levels, university researchers would still face serious and growing problems in funding their research programs, systemic problems that arise from the R&D funding system and incentive structure that the federal government put in place after World War II. This reality dictates that policymakers, research administrators, and the scientific community must adjust to continuing low success rates if scientific research is to continue to flourish on university and college campuses.
Researchers across the country encounter increasingly fierce competition for money. Funding rates in many National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) programs are now at historical lows, declining from more than 30% before 2001 to 20% or even less in 2011 (with an uptick in 2009 associated with stimulus funding). The funding rates in some programs are substantially worse, dipping into the single digits. At these success rates, even the most prominent scientists will find it difficult to maintain funding for their laboratories, and young scientists seeking their first grant may become so overwhelmed that individuals of great promise will be driven from the field. As the Chronicle of Higher Education reported in 2013, the anxiety and frustration among principal investigators were manifested in the form of a letter to NSF, signed by more than 550 ecologists and environmental scientists, criticizing the negative impact that new policies, designed to cope with the flood of proposals, would have on the progress of science, junior faculty members, and collaborative research.
Many scientists and outside observers blame these low funding rates on a decline in the federal commitment to funding scientific research. However, the evidence tells another story. The growth of the scientific enterprise on university campuses during the past 60 years is not sustainable and has now reached a tipping point at which old models no longer work and expectations on the part of universities and university-based scientists have to be brought into line with fiscal realities. At the same time, federal funding agencies must work with universities to ensure that new models of funding do not stymie the progress of science in the United States, but instead continue to fund the most deserving research, while recognizing the need to keep a broad portfolio of investigators active in order to hedge the nation’s R&D bet (it is not always easy to recognize the research programs that will bear the most fruit) and to make certain that students at a wide range of institutions can be trained by research-active scientists.
As with East Baltimore Hopkins campus all kinds of promises on affordable housing was made and again we have labor and justice outside of this UMMS development shouting against the plans that are showing no affordable housing development. The goal of UMMS as Hopkins is to bring foreign students, health professionals, foreign health corporations and tie them to this campus. There will be the same housing dedicated for them that may be affordable with stipends while they work with this global health tourism campus-----but not for Baltimore citizens.
Just as with Beilenson who was assigned by Hopkins to develop what will replace our Federal Medicare and Medicaid----a non-profit low-income health insurance plan EVERGREEN,----
Jay A. Perman, MD is a Harvard/Hopkins global Wall Street guy installing this US city as International Economic Zone global health campus. Why is every economic structure being built having CEOs from Ivy League Universities? All of the global investment firms tied to these campuses are also tied to IVY LEAGUE endowments.
HOW IS THIS GOOD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR A US CITY LIKE BALTIMORE? IT IS NOT----1% WALL STREET GLOBAL POLS DO NOT SEE A US CITY CALLED BALTIMORE---THEY SEE BLOOMBERG INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE 2 NORTH AMERICA.
If we know this is the goal of MASTER PLAN global corporate campus in this case for Johns Hopkins----we know everything that says it is for the poor---or for small health business start ups----is BOGUS.
New Development Builds on BioPark Success
August 18, 2016 | By Alex Likowski
Redevelopment of the historic Lion Brothers Building near the University of Maryland BioPark is a powerful sign of continuing revitalization in West Baltimore. The former factory at South Poppleton and Hollins streets is set to reopen in December, and already has lined up tenants for two-thirds of its 37,500 square feet of space.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 17, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, thanked James L. Hughes, MBA, UMB's chief enterprise and economic development officer and president of the corporation that operates the BioPark, for his leadership in creating “a thriving innovation district.” Perman added that the University has been focusing on extending the benefits of the BioPark out into the community, to help create more jobs, opportunity, and vitality in West Baltimore.
“That’s why we opened our Community Engagement Center in the park last year. It’s why we’ve been working so closely with Michael Seipp and the Southwest Partnership.” Seipp is the executive director of the Southwest Partnership, a coalition of seven West Baltimore neighborhoods that includes Hollins Market, where the Lion Brothers Building is located.
Established in 1899, the Lion Brothers Company originally manufactured a wide range of products including blouses, skirts, and sailor caps but later specialized to only make embroidered emblems.
Earlier this year an agreement was reached between the BioPark and Cross Street Partners, the developer of the Lion Brothers Building, fully integrating the building into the BioPark and dealing with issues such as security and parking. Cross Street also will contribute to the BioPark’s community fund.
Initially, tenants will include:
Enterprise Homes (Baltimore offices). Co-founded by Jim and Patty Rouse, Enterprise Homes has helped create 14,000 affordable homes in Baltimore City, including hundreds in Southwest Baltimore.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County. UMBC’s Intermedia and Digital Arts graduate (MFA) program is currently at 1100 Wicomico St., but is looking for space that’s more connected to the community.
Baltimore Community Lending is a U.S. Treasury-certified nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, providing loans for affordable housing, community facilities, and mixed-use developments in underserved Baltimore City neighborhoods.
Cross Street Partners also will lease about 6,800 square feet.
The total cost of the renovation will be $11.7 million. Some of the funding includes historic tax credits and a state grant. For more information, see this story in The Baltimore Sun.
Chase Brexton Health Care is SO OBVIOUSLY progressive posing ----thinking this huge building is being renovated for low-income health care with surrounding housing all called luxury with rents climbing into the $2,000-3,000s. This is a prime example of placing a small business startup-----Brexton Chase as focusing on health care for the poor and low-income with no intention of it remaining. Brexton Chase sprang from one of those outsourced health non-profits dealing with AIDS patient health. As always, one doubts all that dedicated funding got to that health service and since Johns Hopkins is tied to all revenue dispensation especially regarding health care we can be pretty sure Brexton Chase is tied to Johns Hopkins as will be this building.
The taking of this great building by Brexton Chase was never about building a health care facility for low-income and LGBT patients. It was always about securing what is prime property in a community slated to become one of the richest in the city that will no doubt be folded into the Johns Hopkins medical system and purposed for patients in their health plans. Affordable Care Act and Trans Pacific Trade Pact both have eliminated access to much health care and especially citizens dealing with AIDS related disease vectors. Many of what Baltimore pols PROGRESSIVELY posed as health policy for the underserved and GBLT communities will soon disappear and the richest community of Mt Royal will not be allowing a community clinic inside its boundaries. We know that.
This is what Affordable Care Act with a goal of consolidating all health industry functions into one global health system creating monopolies looks like. How do the low-income fair in predatory industries looking to maximize profits?
I will out our local and national SEIU especially health care for backing the Wall Street global corporate pols in Hillary and PUGH which assure Baltimore labor and social programs like this will not remain.
August 19 at 8:43pm ·
On late Friday afternoon, August 19, 2016, a large crowd of activists, over 300 in number, gathered outside of the Chase Brexton Health Care at north Charles and Chase Streets. They were there to protest the firing by its CEO, Richard L. Larison, of five of its workers for daring to seek union membership.
According to published reports, Larison has urged employees not to join a union. Employees have responded to his arbitrary conduct by filing a complaint with the Federal Labor Relations Board over the matter.
At the moment, over one hundred of Chase Brexton’s employees: nurses, social workers, physicians, therapists and pharmacists, are in the process of organizing to join 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. The SEIU is a national labor union for service employees with a membership of about two million people.
A petition drive has been initiated demanding the rehiring of the five workers and for Chase Brexton to stop “interfering with workers’ right to unionize.” It has now about 1,300 signatures. Workers do have “a legal right” to organize and to join a union. And, that right is protected under federal law.
The Lesbian/Gay and LGBTQ communities are also concerned about this matter. They speculated that the firings may indicate that the “trust bond” established between the health care provider and them, are deteriorating. Chase Brexton did, until lately, have a solid reputation regarding its service to the local Lesbian/Gay & LGBTQ communities. Chase Brexton has five medical care locations throughout the state of Maryland.
Speaking at the rally were employees of Chase Brexton, patients, elected officials, union organizers and members of Baltimore’ Social Justice community.
Some of the speakers were: Kate Rumiko Bruce, Ava Pipitone, Annie Lee, Del. Mary Washington, Del. Cheryl Glenn, Del. Cory McCray, Sen. Rick Madaleno and Dr. Margaret Flowers.
The growth startup corporations in this race to global health tourism is of course travel and arrangements for citizens needing health care and needing it done for the price they can pay. Meanwhile, the small health business startups will simply lose funding and go away. Raise your hand if you understand not a very large percentage of global citizens will be traveling this circuit---EVERYONE.
These global health campuses being built from UMMS to Hopkins are all designing an operations model that will be global marketing to entice the world's 1% and their 2% to come to Baltimore for its health care services while connecting to global telemedicine for those routine checkups. Remember, in the world of global corporate campuses and global factories-----NOT MUCH HEALTH CARE HAPPENING FOR THE 99%!
This is for what that mayoral candidate promoting telemedicine and biotech policies advocates while posing progressive in saying it is for the citizens in our underserved communities. National labor and justice organizations know this is the goal and that labor and the global labor pool will not be invited.
WHEN A LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATION IS NOT SHOUTING AGAINST THESE GLOBAL HEALTH INDUSTRY STRUCTURES---THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE ISSUES IN HEALTH CARE OR HEALTH INDUSTRY EMPLOYMENT.
Remember, global corporations like Hopkins already has its global health systems in place---so this has nothing to do with FREE MARKET OR COMPETITION IN THIS HEALTH INDUSTRY.
Global Health Voyager buys medical tourism agency, Planet Hospital
18 November 2011
Global Health Voyager has bought US medical tourism agency PlanetHospital from Healthcare International Networks.
Rudy Rupak, founder of PlanetHospital, will work with GLHV. PlanetHospital has been a pioneer in medical tourism since 2002 and has served thousands of patients to become one of the largest medical travel agencies in the USA.
Global Health Voyager has bought US medical tourism agency PlanetHospital from Healthcare International Networks. Rudy Rupak, founder of PlanetHospital, will work with GLHV. PlanetHospital has been a pioneer in medical tourism since 2002 and has served thousands of patients to become one of the largest medical travel agencies in the USA.
PlanetHospital will release a new state-of-the-art website by the end of the year, featuring a clean, minimalist appearance that is simple to navigate, and includes an updated customer relationship manager, virtual detailed anatomical procedure body and video of patient testimonials. The business targets individuals, self-insured employers and third party intermediaries by providing a range of services to assist access to medical procedures, including cosmetic surgery, hip replacement and stem cell therapy.
Global Health Voyager is an international medical tourism company that offers technology solutions, medical tourism consulting services, and access to a worldwide network.
PlanetHospital is showing a new documentary on US television networks,” Under the Knife.” The 60-minute documentary takes a comprehensive look into the process of medical travel, including a PlanetHospital patient’s trip from California to Mexico to get surgery she could not afford in the USA.
Global Health Voyager has added to its global network the Indian hospitals of Apollo Hospitals Group, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel, and AMERIMED Hospitals in Mexico. Ali Moussavi of Global Health Voyager says, “Mexico is a short plane ride from most cities in the United States, offering convenience and ease of travel – key considerations for those traveling outside the country for medical care. The Mexican government is expecting the number of medical tourism patients to reach 650,000 annually by 2020.”
Global Health Voyager has a strategy to operate as a full-service medical tourism agency in the United States. The company offers access to a network of accredited facilities and providers to patients seeking healthcare, surgical, dental, and wellness procedures.
Global Health Voyager Inc. incorporated on March 14, 2000, changed its focus to develop medical tourism websites and in April 2011, launched its initial medical tourism website www.globalhealthvoyager.com.
The company was formerly known as NT Media Corp. of California, Inc. and changed its name to Global Health Voyager, Inc. in August 2011. The group was founded in 1999 and is based in Los Angeles, California.
The company was originally focused on development, production and distribution of programming in the entertainment industry, including creating music platforms and skilled gaming in the United States and abroad and vertical social and professional networks.
So far, the company has announced many deals that are just adding hospitals to a global network or promoting its services. It has yet to send more than a handful of people overseas for treatment, and the PlanetHospital acquisition seeks to turn promises into reality. The latest SEC return shows market capitalization of $ 1.1 million, enterprise valued at $3.2 million, one listed employee, nil revenue and net income of $559,000. Enterprise value is market cap plus debt, minority interest and preferred shares, minus cash and cash equivalents.
We see here our public universities are targeted for privatization with this coming bond market collapse and we can bet these expansions tied to BIOTECH PARKS is tied to bonds and global investment firms backing them-----GLOBAL HIGHSTAR INVOLVED HERE? This is the Ivy League endowment global investment firm basically tied to every global corporate privatization in US cities deemed International Economic Zones----like GLOBAL VEOLA ENVIRONMENTAL, GLOBAL VEOLA TRANSPORTATION, GLOBAL PORT OF BALTIMORE, and these current bond deals.
Obama and Congressional Wall Street global pols know this massive subpriming of our US Treasury and state municipal bond market are heavily attached to these universities to be turned to global education/health care facilities.
Who works at these International Economic Zones around the world? A global workforce. Why would that be different in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones?
The point is this: when all Federal regulations protecting health care are gone----when our Federal Medicare and Medicaid Trusts are gutted from this bond fraud----do we really think these global health corporations have anything other than basic clinical preventative health for over 80% of Americans? When a friend says----WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT----THEY CANNOT OPERATE WITHOUT CONSUMERS-----that friend is forgetting the MASTER PLAN that has Baltimore City center for the global 1% and their 2% plus global wealthy health tourists.
NOTHING FOR THE AMERICAN 99%!
Universities given credit downgrade
Fri, 02/26/2016 - 8:00am | Julie Wurth
Several beleaguered Illinois universities took another hit this week, with Moody's Investor Service downgrading their credit ratings because of the ongoing state budget crisis.
Northern Illinois University and Northeastern Illinois University saw their ratings lowered to Baa2 and Baa3, just above "speculative" or "junk bond" status, while Eastern Illinois University is now below investment grade, dropping from Baa3 to Ba1 and Ba3.
The ratings range from a high of Aaa, or "prime," to C, which signals default.
Schools use the bond market to borrow money for new classroom buildings, laboratories or residence halls, or just to consolidate debt. They secure the loans with student fees, housing payments, clinic income or other sources of money.
The lower the bond rating, the higher the interest rate will be for the schools to pay back that money. Ideally, schools want a high rating so they can borrow at a cheaper rate and keep their overall debt low.
"Without state money coming in, this would be what's expected over time, that the financial situation of these institutions will continue to erode, and the bond markets will continue to notice that," UI education finance Professor Jennifer Delaney said of Wednesday's announcement by Moody's. "In general, it's a signal to the market and also, frankly, the students and families about the financial health of the institutions."
All state public universities continue to carry a "negative outlook" from Moody's, which means that further downgrades could be likely depending on what happens with the state budget.
Moody's cited Eastern's "increasing vulnerability to the ongoing state budget impasse given its thin liquidity, declining enrollment and high reliance on state funding." The school's reserves are expected to be exhausted by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, Moody's said.
Moody's again affirmed the UI's credit ratings, with a negative outlook. The rating affects about $1.6 billion in debt held by the university, for its auxiliary facilities system (Aa3), which includes the State Farm Center and residence halls; certificates of participation (Aa3); south campus development bonds in Chicago (A1); and health services facilities system in Chicago (A2).
The affirmation reflects the UI's "very good liquidity that provides it with significant flexibility to manage the lack of direct state funding as the state budget impasse continues," Moody's said.
Other factors in the UI's favor: strong student demand, more than $5.5 billion in revenues from diverse sources, and a favorable balance sheet with a "modest" debt burden. But Moody's noted that the UI is constrained by the state's financial challenges, and a growing amount of its state appropriation is consumed by pensions and other benefits, "pressuring the university's core educational and general budget."
Analysts also expect "some weakening of operating cash flow" at the UI this fiscal year.
Moody's affirmed its previous ratings for Southern Illinois University (Baa1) and Western Illinois Univeristy (Baa3).
The ratings agency assigned an A3 to Illinois State University's upcoming $40 million revenue bond sale for its auxiliary facilities system and affirmed ISU's previous A3 ratings. Analysts cited strong reserves and debt-service coverage for the system, and noted that ISU is "one of the state's largest public universities with a strong regional reputation and fiscal stewardship."
The school has sufficient reserves and endowment funds to mitigate the state's budget impasse for now, and also has stable enrollment, Moody's said.
For Northern, the downgrade is based on the expectation of weakening cash flow and liquidity without state appropriations. Moody's said the ratings reflect actions taken by Northern to trim expenses and "carefully manage liquidity cope with the state budget impasse," and its position as one of Illinois' largest regional public universities with diverse academic offerings.
But analysts also said its cash flow will continue to narrow because of enrollment declines, and cited its "relatively modest" reserves.
Northeastern's financial liquidity puts it in a better position to weather cuts than some of its peers, Moody's said, but that's offset by a decline in its operating performance and the state funding delay. The Chicago school, which has a large Hispanic population, is hoping that opening its first residence hall in 2016 will boost its market profile but early demand has been "weak," Moody's said.