Illinois Continues Building Up “Rainy Day” Fund with $100 Million Deposit
With the latest $100 million deposit into the Budget Stabilization Fund, the state’s “Rainy Day” Fund, Illinois now has more than $850 million in the bank to weather potential economic turbulence. Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly worked together to ensure the state would have a record $1 billion in the account this fiscal year, and today Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced the deposit of $100 million of that commitment.
The improved Budget Stabilization Fund, now at $854 million, is one of the many steps towards financial responsibility that has resulted in six recent credit upgrades for the state.
“I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve deposited an additional $100 million into our state’s Rainy Day Fund,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This is just one of the ways that we are building long-term financial sustainability—and we are seeing tangible results in real-time. From tax relief for Illinoisans to our six credit rating upgrades, we are creating an Illinois that is economically prosperous for all. I want to thank Comptroller Mendoza for swiftly depositing this funding early in the fiscal year.”
Illinois’ Budget Stabilization Fund had been decimated by budget impasses and mismanagement. At one point the fund held less than $60,000, an amount that would have sustained state operations for less than thirty seconds. Beginning in FY24, state law requires minimum payments of $45 million dollars a year will be required in each state budget to continue stabilizing the fund.
Credit rating agencies pointed to the Budget Stabilization Fund as a key reason for Illinois’ six ratings increases during Gov. Pritzker’s term. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings both cited the fund’s improvement in their decision to increase its rating, as well as responsible payments to pension funds and up-to-date bill payments. These upgrades allow the state to borrow money at a lower interest rate, saving taxpayer dollars.
The “Rainy Day” Fund, also known as the Budget Stabilization Fund, protects the state services that Illinoisans rely on every day. It is in place to meet state needs in case of deficits or shortcomings in a budget, provide credit stability, and reduce the need for short-term borrowing. Its increased balance offers Illinoisans protection in times of immediate need while building a stable, long-term financial groundwork for the state.
In addition to the recent $100 million deposit and the extra pension fund payments, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Pritzker is providing financially responsible relief for Illinois working families. On July 1, residents began to receive over $1.8 billion of tax relief, including tax relief for gas, property, groceries, and school supplies. Direct payments to Illinois families are expected this fall, according to the Comptroller’s office. The budget also made unprecedented investments in college affordability, the Illinois State Police and proven violence prevention programs across the state.