Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Gone in 30 seconds
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Gone in 30 seconds

Monday, Sep 30, 2019

* Pretty sure we’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth repeating every now and then. From Finke’s column

The National Conference of State Legislatures recently took a look at rainy day funds, money state’s put aside to help cushion the blow in the event of an economic downturn.

The organization said only two states don’t have an official rainy day fund, although one of them, Colorado, has a “required reserve” fund. That leaves only Illinois without one, NCSL said.

That’s a bit misleading. Illinois has a “Budget Stabilization Fund,” which is essentially a rainy day fund under a different name. Right now, it has $60,000 in it, which the comptroller’s office said will pay less than 30 seconds worth of state bills.

Rest easy.

*Hard sigh*

…Adding… As noted in comments, it makes little sense to establish a large rainy day fund while the state has so much debt. However, building in a bit of fiscal flexibility would still be a decent idea.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    We don’t need no Stinking Funds.

  2. - efudd - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    Hard to save when you’re paying off debt.
    Quinn was at least sincere at paying down the backlog, signing legislation that helped unseat him.
    Then came Rauner. Hard to imagine more damage could be done in four years even with a doable plan.

  3. - Been There - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    Well if we had more than that $60 grand we should all be mad. I’d much rather pay down bills especially the ones we have to pay interest on. I doubt any money that would be sitting in a rainy day account would earn as much as those high interest rates that we pay.

  4. - Red Ranger - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:05 am:


  5. - Bertrum Cates - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    The problem with Rainy Day Funds is it is always raining somewhere to someone.

    The biggest problem with Illinois’ Rainy Day Fund is it literally transfers out of GRF on Monday and then transfers back into it on Tuesday. It’s budgetary window dressing at its finest.

  6. - Stones - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    Most of my neighbors have that in their checking accounts.

  7. - Steve - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    More spending and higher taxes is the answer to this problem.

  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    In a rare moment of non-sarcasm:

    I don’t pay taxes for the government to build reserves.

    I pay taxes to support programs, personnel and pay bills/debts. If you’ve got more than you need, give the excess back and I’ll put it in my rainy day fund.

  9. - SSL - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    Can’t be surprised that there’s no cash when there is still a large unpaid bill backlog.

    The real question is how much revenue does the state really need to get to a level of fiscal stability on par with other states. I’m not talking about being a top quartile performer, but simply in the middle of the road.

    There are a lot of moving parts right now, all with a forecasted revenue impact. There’s no margin for error is there? You have to ask yourself if the state can really get there by raising taxes on the 3%.

    Hope that recession holds off for a few years.

  10. - Anotherretiree - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    ==Steve== Where are your cuts ? We are on the edge. Recession may be 12 months away.Its our Wil E Coyote moment…before the long fall to splat.

  11. - efudd - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:21 am:


    Obviously, you’re right.
    Rauner gave us the blueprint for a robust and vibrant future. One where businesses flourished, especially those doing business with the state. Of which there were always takers.

  12. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    We have billions of dollars of unpaid bills.

    A “rainy day fund” or a budget stabilization fund is a moot point.

    We already owe billions of dollars that we’re not able to timely pay.

    Complaining about the lack of a “rainy day fund” when there’s several feet of water in the basement is ridiculous. We don’t need a rainy day fund.

    We need a progressive income tax rate and better tax enforcement from the federal government to partner with our own enforcement actions.

  13. - efudd - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    Michelle Flaherety x 100.

    If Illinois did have a surplus to last 30 days or more, IPI would be ridiculing them for “hoarding” tax-payers money.

  14. - DarkDante - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    To be fair to my Illinois state fund managers, it would be fiscal mispractice to let money sit in a rainy day fund when there are still unpaid bills accumulating interest.

  15. - lakeside - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:27 am:

    ==Michelle Flaherety x 100.==


    Also, remember what happened to Chicago’s rainy day fund created from the parking meter sale - Daley spent almost all of it, almost instantly.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:27 am:

    Do not feed - Steve -

    The drive by ridiculousness begins and ends with what’s already said; Show The Cuts.

    Even Rauner didn’t want to show the cuts. That speaks volumes to it.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    - Michelle Flaherty -

    Restaurant quality.

    Your insightful comment, on point to so much, critically explains the differences between government and business thinking and why running any governing like a business is folly.

  18. - Bertrum Cates - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    = However, building in a bit of fiscal flexibility would still be a decent idea. =

    Agreed. Consolidating the special funds would be a great place to start.

  19. - Steve - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Higher spending will circulate more money in the Illinois economy . Higher taxes will mean money goes into the right hands of the policy planners. Can anyone doubt that smaller class sizes in Chicago is the road to 1600 SAT scores?

  20. - efudd - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:39 am:


    In honor of the late, great Wordslinger

    “That’s quite the word salad”

  21. - Steve - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    I should clarify when I say policy planners , I mean public spirited public servants like Marty Sandoval . How can anyone think the greedy 1% shouldn’t pay more when Marty has important government services to fund? Private sector greed is hurting this state.

  22. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    Former Gov. Brown of California, an actual fiscal conservative, helped build up a budget surplus and rainy day fund for future economic problems. Raising taxes on the rich was a key part of California’s greatly-improved finances.

    There is a deafening silence these days from the likes of those who used to call themselves the Tea Party. Where is the outrage and protest over the national GOP and Trump mainly being the ones to balloon the federal deficit and national debt, like there was for the last president?

  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    ===I mean public spirited public servants like Marty Sandoval . How can anyone think the greedy 1% shouldn’t pay more when Marty has…===

    - Steve -

    You can always vote for “better” folks instead of burning your breakfast burrito in the dorm room microwave before your Philosophy 403 class on the other side of the Quad.

  24. - Steve - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:48 am:


    I never lived in a dorm room in college or graduate school. I’ll defend Marty right here. He’s a misunderstood idealist. An urban reformer. A man with a vision.

  25. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    Yes indeed
    Lets not have a rainy day fund. Lets do a bond deal and pay outrageous interest, bond council fees, and brokerage fees. Makes perfect sense in Illinois. The state of plenty.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    ===I’ll defend Marty right here. He’s a misunderstood idealist. An urban reformer. A man with a vision.===

    “Sir, this is a Wendy’s”

    How Marty is now dragged into the 30 second surplus, probably because your ridiculous driveby is embarrassingly bad, but…

    To the Post,

    The backlog before Rauner, the implosion or governing during Rauner makes it impossible to think “rainy day fund”. That’s honest to the discussion. Paying bills for services and servicing debt will be the charge of the GA and governors until there’s another way to get things under a controlling budget to have a surplus.

    Services should not suffer because of savings.

    Cuts need to make sense while saving cents too.

  27. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    ===The state of plenty===

    I take it you’re now ready to support a tax hike?

  28. - Steve - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:03 am:


    Marty has been part of the appropriations process. Why not be proud of his legislative output? He’s been a Chairman. Government services cost money. It’s greedy of successful individuals not to want to pay more in taxes when so much good can be done with higher taxes.

  29. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    I take it now your ready to support a tax hike? You mean the 19 cent gas tax? Or the $100 tax increase on trailer plates? Or the increased tax on beer?

  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    ===has been part of the appropriations process.===

    … along with 176 other legislators who voted, gubernatorial administrations that asked for and used appropriations,..,

    I think Sandoval should remove himself or be removed from the chairmanship but this premise that “all” is tainted when the bipartisan votes and signature of a governor tell me lots of folks are in “process”

    What’s next, you and Mr. Wehrli demanding all the evidentiary items before an indictment is secured?

  31. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    One source of income that could be used to shore up the rainy day fund would be to channel a few hundred million out of the expected billions that will annually come from pot sales. After twenty years we are talking real money.

  32. - Steve - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:12 am:


    Marty has been a leader. Illinois wants higher taxes, the blueprint for it is coming. All politicians shouldn’t be tainted, that’s an excellent selling point for more taxes.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    - Steve -

    I fed you.

    I have *no* idea what you’re trying to do but feed you own need to make all things Marty.

    Good luck.

  34. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    “If Illinois did have a surplus to last 30 days or more, IPI would be ridiculing them for “hoarding” tax-payers money.”

    Not sure about that - it all depends on the amount in relation to revenues. GFOA recommends, at a minimum, that general-purpose governments, regardless of size, maintain unrestricted budgetary fund balance in their general fund of no less than two months of regular general fund operating revenues or regular general fund operating expenditures

  35. - Earnest - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    Delayed payments to state vendors has always been our rainy day fund.

  36. - Steve - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:54 am:


    I apologize. It’s not just about public spirited state Senators like Marty. There are others who are equally or more public spirited like Tom Cullterton. Leaders with broad public support of the citizens and fellow colleagues.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    - Steve -

    Good luck.

  38. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    thr Department of revenue is giving away millions of dollars to large corporations in tax forgiveness but no one seems to care

  39. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    ===Department of revenue is giving away millions of dollars to large corporations in tax forgiveness but no one seems to care===

    Individuals qualify for Amnesty too. The catch is that the taxes all have to be paid. Given that the state is earning 3% on interest assessed to late taxpayers and paying higher rates on bonds and for late payments the amnesty program could wind up being a net gain for the state even with the penalties and interest being lost.

  40. - revvedup - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    The State tried “flexibility”, and created a huge pension problem by flexibly not paying into pensions funds for too long. It’s time to lockbox more revenue streams for specific needs.

  41. - Bertrum Cates - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    = After twenty years we are talking real money. =

    I am confident someone will feel at least a sprinkle between now and then.

    = thr Department of revenue is giving away millions of dollars to large corporations in tax forgiveness but no one seems to care =

    Save it for Facebook.

  42. - Looking down the Road - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    Just raise taxes enough to pay down the debt and build a reserve in a reasonable time frame … like forever.

  43. - efudd - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    “Not sure about that”

    Then you don’t follow the rampant hypocrisy of the IPI.

  44. - park - Monday, Sep 30, 19 @ 7:43 pm:

    we want this government. We want this result.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Question of the day
* The debate continues over the labor force participation rate
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker expands vax/test mandate to workers at licensed day care centers
* COVID-19 roundup
* Despite pleas and even threats, IDOC worker vax rate remains about the same
* Can't somebody at the state step in and help Dixmoor with its water problem?
* Giannoulias hit for accepting campaign money from his brothers, others
* Illinois: Tell Congress To Count All Copays
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller