SPRINGFIELD–Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced a $150 million transfer to the Rainy Day Fund on Wednesday, bringing the fund’s balance to a record-high level of $1.73 billion.
This week’s transfer into the Rainy Day Fund is part of an $850 million supplemental appropriation the legislature and Gov. Pritzker adopted in January.
Comptroller Mendoza has been a strong advocate for reviving the Rainy Day Fund, which serves as the state’s main savings account. It had been decimated during the 2015-2017 state budget impasse. In August 2018, the reserve account stood at just $48,327.53.
“Working together, we’ve brought Illinois’ finances to a much better place since I was sworn in six years ago, but more fiscal discipline is necessary to complete the process,” said Comptroller Mendoza. “When the state forecasted revenue surpluses earlier this year, I said, ‘Let’s not spend everything we take in but let’s prepare for economic downturns.’ That is the responsible thing to do, and the credit rating agencies have rewarded our fiscal prudence.”
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 reserves in the Rainy Day Fund.
While the additional transfers into the Rainy Day Fund are a welcome boost, Comptroller Mendoza continues to call for regular automatic deposits into the fund during strong economic times, without having to depend on one-time infusions from future legislatures.
Comptroller Mendoza will continue to advocate for provisions contained in the bipartisan HB2515, which requires additional regular contributions into both the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund.
“It remains my goal to codify automatic savings when the state can afford it, so that responsible fiscal stewardship is baked into the budget,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “I applaud Gov. Pritzker and the legislature for ensuring the state saves for emergencies in recent years. Let’s leave a legacy of fiscal prudence for the next generation by ensuring the Rainy Day Fund remains an ongoing priority.”