Illinois’ Rainy Day Fund’s newest transfer brings the balance to $1.73 million

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — On Wednesday, Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced that $150 million dollars has been transferred to the Rainy Day Fund, bringing the total fund balance to $1.73 billion.

“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.”

This week’s fund transfer to the Rainy Day Fund is part of an $850 million supplemental appropriation adopted by the legislature and Governor Pritzker in January.

Comptroller Mendoza has been a strong advocate for reviving the Rainy Day Fund, which serves as the state’s main savings account.

The account had been decimated during the 2015 to 2017 state budget impasse.

In August 2018, the reserve account stood at just $48,327.53.

Illinois has earned eight credit upgrades from the credit rating agencies since June 29, 2021, which are the first upgrades in more than two decades.

The rating agencies have called out the state’s efforts to build up its reserves in the Rainy Day 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.” 

Comptroller Mendoza continues to call for regular automatic deposits into the fund during strong economic times, without having to depend on one-time solutions from future legislatures.

She will also continue to advocate for provisions contained in the bipartisan house bill HB2515, which makes additional regular contributions essential to both the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund.

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May 17, 2023 at 10:17AM

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