SPRINGFIELD – The House State Government Administration Committee Wednesday unanimously approved Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza’s Rainy Day Fund bill. The vote was 9-0 along bipartisan lines, with six Democratic representatives and three Republicans voting in favor.
“I’m thankful these lawmakers agree it’s important for Illinois to shore up its emergency reserves in order to steel ourselves against potential, unforeseen crises,” said Comptroller Mendoza.
The measure, HB 2515, would automatically trigger deposits into the emergency reserve fund when the state’s General Funds accounts payable is estimated to be less than $3 billion and the Governor has estimated growth in general revenues over 4%. If both of those markers are met, then a 50/50 split of 1% of the budget would be deposited into the Budget Stabilization Fund – commonly called the Rainy Day Fund – and Pension Stabilization Fund.
“This is a fantastic idea – this is a fantastic structure to maintain fiscal discipline,” said Committee Chair, State Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights.
Last week, Illinois earned another credit-rating upgrade, the seventh under Comptroller Mendoza’s watch after nothing but downgrades for the previous 20 years. Comptroller Mendoza told legislators building reserves has been a key to fixing the state’s finances.
“When Illinois received its seventh credit-rating upgrade last week, S&P noted that Illinois’ rebuilding of its Rainy-Day reserves was a good indicator of Illinois’ financial health,” said Comptroller Mendoza.
State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, who chairs the House Personnel and Pensions Committee, is sponsoring HB 2515.
“I’m excited that by saving into these funds Illinois has earned seven credit upgrades and reduced its pension liability,” said State Rep. Kifowit. “This bill would put a plan in place to build on the progress we have already begun. There is no better time to prepare for the future than now.”
State Sen. Michael Halpin, D-Rock Island, will be the chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate.