Comptroller Mendoza Deposits $350 Million into Rainy Day Fund

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

SPRINGFIELD–Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced a $350 million transfer to the Rainy Day Fund on Wednesday, bringing the fund’s balance to a record-high level of $1.58 billion. 

Comptroller Mendoza also announced Wednesday that the state’s total accounts payable has fallen to a new low of $478 million, a low not seen since July 2008 and eclipsing a previous low mark set just a few days ago. The state’s backlog of unpaid bills had risen to a record high of $16.7 billion as a result of the budget impasse under a previous governor. But Comptroller Mendoza methodically and strategically paid down that backlog over the years to today’s significantly lower accounts payable. 

Wednesday’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 vocal 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. “Even 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 agree.” 

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 into 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 (Kifowit-McCombie), which requires additional regular contributions into both the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund. 

“I applaud the Governor and General Assembly for putting more money into the Rainy Day Fund in recent years. We’ve met challenges head-on and come a long way since the dark days of the budget impasse and the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. I look forward to seeing more savings in future budgets,” said Comptroller Mendoza. “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 announced Monday that Illinois’ total General Funds accounts payable, including liabilities reported by state agencies via her landmark Debt Transparency Act report, dropped to less than $1 billion for the first time in 15 years. 

The accounts payable stood at $941 million on Monday, during a time when state revenues are higher due to the income tax deadline. That was the lowest it had been since August 2008. Monday’s release about that is on the Comptroller’s website