SPRINGFIELD – Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced a $150 million payment into the State’s Budget Stabilization – also called the Rainy Day Fund – Wednesday, bringing the fund’s balance to a record-high level of $1.22 billion.
After today’s action, three more planned installments by the end of the Fiscal Year ’23 on June 30, will total $850 million as a part of the transfers approved by the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker in January.
Comptroller Mendoza has been a vocal advocate for reviving the Rainy Day Fund, which serves as the state’s main savings account and had been decimated during the 2015-2017 state budget impasse. In April 2018, the reserve account stood at just $48,327.53.
“As Comptroller, being responsible for managing the daily accounting of paying our state’s bills, it’s important we resist spending all the forecast revenue surplus on new spending. We must instead put as much as we can into the state’s reserves to prepare for economic downturns,” said Comptroller Mendoza.
Illinois has earned eight credit upgrades from the credit rating agencies since June 29, 2021 – the first upgrades in more than two decades. The rating agencies have cited the state’s efforts to build up its Rainy Day Fund.
“Building a robust emergency reserve account is responsible. And the credit rating agencies agree. They cited the state’s infusion into reserves as one reason for recent upgrades. Better credit ratings mean better rates on bonds, and that means more savings for taxpayers and better finances for the state overall,” Comptroller Mendoza said.
While these transfers into the Rainy Day Fund are a welcome boost, Comptroller Mendoza continues to call for more regular automatic deposits into the fund during strong economies, without having to depend on one-time infusions from future legislatures.
Comptroller Mendoza will continue to ask the General Assembly to pass provisions contained in HB2515 (Kifowit-McCombie), which has received bipartisan support and would require additional annual contributions into both the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund.
“Further saving and paying down our debts when the state can best afford it will better prepare us for the next fiscal downtown or crisis that may come through no fault of our own,” said Comptroller Mendoza.