Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » State’s rainy day fund surpasses $2 billion, GOMB projects new net surplus of $422 million
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State’s rainy day fund surpasses $2 billion, GOMB projects new net surplus of $422 million

Monday, Nov 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

With a deposit of $11.5 million today, Illinois’ Rainy Day Fund reaches an important milestone on the road to respectability: $2.005 billion.

In the worst days of the fiscal impasse that marked the previous administration in 2017, the Rainy Day Fund had just $48,000. That’s not enough to run the state for even 30 seconds – hardly enough to be of any use when the global COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, working with Governor JB Pritzker, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Senate President Don Harmon and other legislative leaders, has prioritized building up that reserve to useful levels.

“Whatever you think Illinois’ most important program is – funding our schools, policing our highways, caring for the elderly – that program is in jeopardy when a crisis strikes if Illinois has not built up a strong reserve,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “The bond rating agencies have been telling us this for years and part of the reason we got our 9th credit upgrade last week is because we are building up our Rainy Day Fund.”

A $2 billion reserve would run the state for about 15 days, which is much better than what we had, but not where Illinois needs to be. Nearly half of all states have at least a 50-day reserve.

* Meanwhile, from Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker’s budgeting office this week raised its current-year revenue estimate by $1.4 billion. It now expects state coffers to collect $52 billion in general revenues, up from $50.6 billion when lawmakers approved the state’s budget in May. […]

The main reasons for the increase were the continued growth in income and sales tax receipts. But revenues will also get a boost because of the state’s failures in the previous two years to properly apply for federal matching funds. That will result in a one-time $405 million boost as the state collects the funds retroactively. < [...]

But the report also found another $1 billion in “spending pressures” that may require approval of a supplemental spending plan when lawmakers return to Springfield in January.

Those pressures include assistance for asylum seekers , increased caseloads at Department on Aging and the Department of Human Services, delays in other federal reimbursements, increased group insurance costs, and outstanding technology bills.

The proposed supplemental spending, plus an expected $198 million contribution to the state’s “rainy day fund,” leave the anticipated FY24 surplus at about $422 million.

More here.


  1. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 2:07 pm:

    Can’t wait for all that federal COVID money to run out. / snark

    I heard that again last week from a GOP State Rep. bemoaning the economy and still calling for a recession and how terrible the fiscal path is for Illinois.

    It’s unreal the disconnect from reality that a portion of the electorate has.

  2. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 2:24 pm:

    Great news. Anyone check on the IPI crowd.

  3. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 2:30 pm:

    If you ask the Republicans the state is still in a “death spiral.”

    It must really gall some of those people just how well the state is doing financially.

  4. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 2:48 pm:

    =If you ask the Republicans the state is still in a “death spiral.”=

    I heard that myself at the school board conference over the weekend. Laughed out loud and then took a second to rebut the comment. Probably wasted my time, but I could not help myself.

    Trying to remember when the state financial health was this good. Maybe right before Ryan was governor?

  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 2:56 pm:

    === Maybe right before Ryan was governor? ===

    Illinois government took almost two decades to recover from the 2000 stock slump, the 2001 terrorist attacks and then the housing debacle.

  6. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:52 pm:

    At least somebody is rebuilding right in this state, compared to the football team who’s name almost doesn’t deserve mention. Very pro-business. It’s reassuring to see a state manage its finances well.

  7. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 6:28 pm:

    Real easy to run a surplus and save money when there are thousands of budgeted positions that the administration seems to be incapable of filling.

  8. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 6:42 pm:

    =seems to be incapable of filling.=

    I wonder how much of that is due to the general labor shortage? Obviously not all can be attributed to that. I know the ISBE is a ghost town.

  9. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Nov 21, 23 @ 1:35 am:

    ===I wonder how much of that is due to the general labor shortage?===

    Much like how a policy of continuous deferred capital maintenance will result in a complete capital loss, the State has failed to spend on the development of its staff for decades creating a real deficiency in managerial skills among people expected to manage and a substantial lack of basic legal understanding among people expected to interpret and enact law. When comparing the state to other organizations of a similar size, this simply isn’t the case for those organizations which have consistent on boarding programs for management of all staff and continuous programs of training and development.

    Just like agencies are left to figure out their plan for capital maintenance out of their own agency budget, they’re also left to create their own training programs.

    Even McDonald’s takes employee development more seriously and their primary business is hocking sandwiches and fries — the State has serious life an death responsibilities and it is filled with managers that are just muddling through their day.

    When combining a lack of development with factors like Dunning Kruger we have a state government full of incompetent, toxic, and sometimes even malicious managers that think they are great leaders and God’s gift to government while lacking the ability to understand that they’re bad at managing and may even be failing at the purpose of their role. And some times they’re doing it intentionally.

    That’s without even accounting for the rampant dishonesty.

    A labor shortage doesn’t explain the exceptionally high turn over or the employees that quit within the first handful of weeks, or even the first day or the first week. A labor shortage doesn’t explain why it takes almost a full year to get from application to start date.

    I have never encountered an employer of any meaningful size that has shown the level of contempt and disregard that the State shows to its employees.

    I wish it was just a labor shortage and not a massive impact of structural deficiencies caused by a lack of commitment to good government, good management, and a positive work environment.

    The vacant positions are indicative of massive problems and they’re not going to be solved by new electronic hiring.

  10. - Nathan - Tuesday, Nov 21, 23 @ 7:46 am:

    Slow and steady wins the race.

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