With 11 years of bull market behind us and a pandemic that is starting to make its way across the globe, it is only now that Governor J.B. Pritzker has decided he wants to help bolster the state's safety net. He'll be playing catch up to many other states, who used the last decade to bolster their respective states' funds, according to Bloomberg.
The Democratic governor is proposing putting $50 million from the state's surplus into a "budge stabilization fund" this year and then doing the same thing in 2021 if voters approve an income tax referendum currently before the state. The fund was almost depleted in 2017 when the state's government, led by a Republican Governor with a Democratic legislature, locked up.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country holds a record $74.9 billion in rainy day funds. Once again, Illinois is behind the eight ball.
U.S. states have seen nine straight years of increases to their rainy day funds and can run operations for a median of 27.9 days on these funds. Illinois has funds for less than one day.
Justin Theal, an officer with Pew said simply: "Illinois is less prepared." The state currently has a paltry $58,655.62 in its rainy day fund. Legislation has been proposed to automatically increase monthly transfers to the fund when the state's bill backlog is less than $3 billion. Currently, that backlog sits at $7.3 billion.