AUGUSTA — Governor Janet Mills announced Tuesday her administration has deposited another $223.6 million into the State’s Budget Stabilization, or so-called “Rainy Day” Fund, bringing it to an historic high of $491.9 million.
Since Governor Mills took office, the administration, with the support of the Legislature, has deposited more than $282 million into the Rainy Day Fund, more than doubling its balance.
“In the past two and a half years, my Administration has worked in a bipartisan fashion with the Legislature to more than double the Budget Stabilization Fund to this historic high level,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This sound fiscal management has positioned us well to continue our economic recovery and to send a strong message to bond rating agencies about our financial stability. I am proud of the progress my Administration and the Legislature have made together on this important front.”
“That we were able to navigate the stormy waters of the pandemic, with pendulum-like revenue forecasts, while keeping intact Maine’s Budget Stabilization Fund is a testament to both the foresight and planning of the Governor,” said Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. “With the support of the Legislature, this Administration has not only preserved programs and services at a time when they were most needed but also deployed a strong pandemic response that has kept our state among the healthiest and most vaccinated in the nation. We will continue along this course, with prudent fiscal management and methodical deposits into the Budget Stabilization Fund to combat any unknown economic change.”
The $223.6 million deposit is the result of the State budget, signed into law by Governor Mills, allowing the majority of surplus revenues from Fiscal Year 2021 to be deposited into the Rainy Day Fund for emergencies.
That these surplus revenues exist is tribute to Maine’s solid financial standing, the responsible fiscal moves Governor Mills and the Legislature made throughout 2020 and 2021, prudent management of departmental spending throughout the pandemic, and federal support for Maine’s economy and people, a news release touted.
As a result, Governor Mills was able to maintain and increase the Budget Stabilization Fund – rather than take from it – while also maintaining critical services for Maine people throughout the pandemic, the release noted.
Additionally, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s credit rating agencies have cited Maine’s governance practices and its reserves in the Budget Stabilization Fund as grounds for reaffirming Maine’s Aa2 and AA bond ratings, respectively, and for rating Maine’s debt as stable during the pandemic, even while downgrading ratings of other states.