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With latest deposit, state’s rainy day fund now exceeds a billion dollars

Thursday, Aug 11, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announces the latest installment of $180 million into the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the balance to a record level of $1.036 billion, the highest balance in the fund, also called the Budget Stabilization Fund, to date.

Comptroller Mendoza has been a 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 April 2018, the reserve account stood at just $48,327.53.

“We’re saving today to invest in tomorrow,” said Comptroller Mendoza. “This latest infusion proves that we are prioritizing paying down our debts, addressing the pension shortfall and not putting the problems of yesterday on the backs of future generations.”

The appropriation was supported by Gov. JB Pritzker and approved by the Illinois General Assembly earlier this year. With higher-than-anticipated revenues for the prior fiscal year, not only did the General Assembly and the Governor approve of a $1.8 billion tax-relief plan for taxpayers, but they also resisted to spend, as this $1 billion into the state’s Rainy Day Fund for fiscal year ’22 and ’23 makes clear. The most recent budget also includes paying an extra $500 million into the Pension Stabilization Fund, which will lower pension debt liabilities by $1.8 billion.

This latest deposit into the Rainy Day Fund this week is the final installment based on the appropriations per the most recently approved state budget. Starting next fiscal year, the legislature has agreed to put in an additional $45 million into the fund annually.

“Building a robust emergency reserve account is responsible. And the credit rating agencies agree. They cited the state’s infusion into reserves as one reason for recent upgrades. Better credit ratings mean better rates on bonds, and that means more savings for taxpayers and better finances for the state overall,” Comptroller Mendoza said.

Illinois has earned six credit upgrades from the credit rating agencies since June 29, 2021 – the first upgrades in over two decades.

While these welcomed infusions into the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund are certainly a great boost, Comptroller Mendoza continues to call for more regular automatic deposits into these funds during strong economies, without having to depend on one-time infusions of future legislatures.

During the fall veto session Comptroller Mendoza will ask the General Assembly to take up HB 4118, sponsored by State Rep. Michael Halpin, D-Rock Island. The proposal would require additional annual contributions to both the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund.

“Further saving and paying down our debts when the state can afford it will better prepare us for the next fiscal downtown or crisis, such as a recession, that may come through no fault of our own,” said Comptroller Mendoza.

…Adding… At the request of the comptroller’s office, I’ve corrected the designation of Rep. Halpin as being from Rock Island, not Rock City. I prefer Rock City, however

I feel so good, I’m so alive
Hear my song playin’ on the radio

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32 Comments
  1. - Google Is Your Friend - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 9:35 am:

    Didn’t know Halpin’s district went up to Stephenson County.


  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 9:42 am:

    ===Stephenson County===

    lol

    Must be a Kiss fan working for the comptroller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZq3i94mSsQ


  3. - McGuppin - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    Kudos to Comptroller Mendoza. That’s a job that doesn’t come with a lot of “highlight reel” moments, but she’s been really solid. Underrated public servant, IMO.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 9:49 am:

    Multiple bond rating upgrades, a rainy day fund of a billion dollars…

    “Everything” is bad, amirite?


  5. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 9:52 am:

    ===Illinois has earned six credit upgrades from the credit rating agencies since June 29, 2021 – the first upgrades in over two decades.===

    I just thought that was worth repeating. It is a remarkable accomplishment that too few are talking about.


  6. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    Sure looks like it is still pouring 1.8 billion of rain right now in the Illinois unemployment trust fund that will result in massive tax hikes on small businesses still struggling to recover all across Illinois


  7. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:08 am:

    “bringing the balance to a record level of $1.036 billion”

    This is the Illinois doomsayers’ biggest fear: financial improvement by Democrats. It disposes of right wing policy ideas. Of course they’re going to be silent or try to negatively spin it.


  8. - Nick Name - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    She’s awesome.


  9. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    Does anyone have a list of which legislators love to rock and roll all night and party every day?

    /s


  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    Define “massive”

    And still no good news from you? Are you always this miserable?


  11. - former southerner - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    Can we use a tiny amount from the fund to upgrade the Luckybot firmware to version 1.2 that is supposed to be less whiny and annoying?


  12. - stateandlake - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:29 am:

    ==“Everything” is bad, amirite?==

    Yep. How much more of this can we take? How bad does it have to get? /s


  13. - New Day - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:29 am:

    LP…sigh. Somehow if Rauner had done this I suspect you’d be shouting this from the rooftops. Intellectual honesty much?


  14. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:34 am:

    The doomsayers know full-well that Illinois’ finances can’t be fixed overnight. We are doing much better.

    Detroit Rock City is a great tune. A major fast food chain has heavy metal music in its current TV commercial that sounds like a song from back in the day called Swords and Tequila. Had to give that tune a listen.


  15. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:36 am:

    LP … when you see an elephant, do you insist it is really a mouse with a glandular condition?


  16. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:46 am:

    Democrats running government well financially. there ya go.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    Perhaps a wake up call is in order for those who believe everything is always coming up roses for the Pritzker administration is in order.

    Somehow Democrats get a complete pass for not using Federal funds to replenish the 1.8 billion to the unemployment trust fund.

    Now with a 40 year high in inflation and in what many economists consider to be a recession, Illinois will raise taxes on business to replenish the unemployment trust fund, decimated by 1.8 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims made possible by incompetence at IDES.


  18. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:05 am:

    – Multiple bond rating upgrades, a rainy day fund of a billion dollars… –

    End times, indeed.


  19. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    LP spinning and spreading his continual doom and gloom on any positive news from a Democratic administration. At least he’s consistent.


  20. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    I really hope Ms. Mendoza runs for this office for a long time.

    She’s on the ball, every day. She is the epitome of;

    “If something is working right, you won’t even notice it at all”


  21. - Pundent - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    So while Republicans are focusing on who’s using what bathroom in schools or tying themselves in knots on when they’re on the side of the law or not, the Dems are going about the business of running state government. Good to see.


  22. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:52 am:

    Still waiting on LP to be a serious commenter. With every new day there’s hope. I won’t hold my breath however.


  23. - Roadrager - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    ==the Dems are going about the business of running state government==

    Or, as Republicans now call it, “grooming.”


  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:55 am:

    ===always===

    Not one person here, or ever to your silly, has said it’s “always” great.

    What you need to come to terms with, - Lucky Pierre - is that it is “always” bad

    Also…

    You’ve yet to explain the term “massive” you are using and why it is massive and in what context.

    Participate and add, for a change


  25. - Pundent - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:56 am:

    =Still waiting on LP to be a serious commenter.=

    LP becoming a serious commenter would be an indication that the party he supports has suddenly turned serious. But until those two events occur, there’s not much point in taking either one seriously.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 11:58 am:

    ===Illinois will raise taxes===

    … and yet, 480 businesses moved or expanded here last year, the third-most in the country, according to the industry journal, Site Selection.

    You are trying to see in the negative future, businesses are seeing it different. Only 2 states had more businesses move to or expand


  27. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    There’s always the “yeah, but” crowd. Nothing will ever please them. There is no such thing as good news in their eyes. The state is by any objective measure in immensely better shape financially than it has been in a long time. The hyperpartisan hacks will never admit that.


  28. - Jibba - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    That 1.8 B might go well in the pension funds, but kudos for accumulating it.


  29. - Huh? - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Isn’t the unemployment insurance trust funded by the unemployment insurance premiums paid by companies doing business in Illinois? If so, why should the State pay to replenish the fund?


  30. - JS Mill - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    =Sure looks like it is still pouring 1.8 billion of rain right now in the Illinois unemployment trust fund that will result in massive tax hikes on small businesses still struggling to recover all across Illinois=

    Prove it.

    Given your track record of being wrong on most everything and shouting at the clouds, you are not to be taken seriously.


  31. - New Day - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    I run a couple small businesses. Not worried in the slightest about some LP phantom tax increases coming to replenish to unemployment trust funds. Maybe that’s because they have plenty of time to replenish those funds so it’s not going to happen.


  32. - Huckleberry - Thursday, Aug 11, 22 @ 6:52 pm:

    Just saying there still is a balance that in November will begin to be paid back by businesses in ILL

    Https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-24/illinois-to-use-2-7-billion-of-aid-to-repay-unemployment-loan


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