SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A major credit-rating house took a more positive outlook Tuesday on Illinois' ability to pay its debts, a rare economic bright spot for the state one week after lawmakers approved major pension-reform legislation.

Standard & Poor's declared Illinois' fiscal outlook as "developing," an improvement, if a somewhat fuzzy one, over its previous "negative" outlook.

S&P affirmed its A- minus rating — sixth from the best — on Prairie State debt that is backed by general tax revenue.

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