Statement from Comptroller Susana Mendoza on passage of the Fiscal Year 2025 state budget.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The state budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1st makes key investments in our future and addresses the needs of our state’s most vulnerable residents. 

I applaud lawmakers for their hard work this session, increasing investments in K-12 and early childhood education, career and technical programs, college MAP grants, after school programs and services for people with developmental disabilities. The budget also supports Illinois’ healthcare network, especially Illinois’ nursing homes and pharmacies and funds two new Illinois State Police cadet classes. 

I am grateful to the General Assembly for adopting my proposal giving my office the flexibility to make pension payments earlier, as noted in the Budget Implementation Bill. The five pension systems will welcome this option when the state’s finances allow. The fact that we can even take advantage of this cash management tool is a testament to the hard work put into improving the state’s finances. This will give the pension systems stability and flexibility for their investment portfolios. 

This budget anticipates payments of $198 million by June 2025 into the Rainy Day Fund, which would bring the total to an estimated $2.3 billion. That’s good, but the bond rating agencies – and I – think Illinois can do better. I look forward to resuming conversations with legislators and the administration on my bill to require more regular contributions to the Rainy Day and Pension Stabilization funds. It’s imperative that the state have a healthy Rainy Day Fund to see us through times of economic crisis such as a major recession or another global pandemic, and that we do more to pay down our pension debt as quickly as possible. I will continue to pursue this proposal.