After restoring stability to Pennsylvania’s finances, Governor Tom Wolf announced a $317 million deposit into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, the largest transfer in nearly two decades. The governor was joined by Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman for the announcement at the Capitol.
Following a $22 million deposit last year, the first in nearly 10 years, the state’s savings account will have a total balance of $340 million – over 1,000 times more than when the governor took office.
“This contribution to the Rainy Day Fund is not just a sign that our economy is strong today, but that it will continue to grow because we are building the safety net we need for any future challenges,” said Gov. Wolf. “I am proud of the legislature for recognizing that responsible financial planning includes making good spending decisions alongside saving for the future.”
“None of us has the luxury of knowing when the next economic downturn, or environmental crisis, or natural disaster will strike,” said Treasurer Torsella. “But we can take steps to better prepare ourselves to continue serving the people of this Commonwealth when it does and make sure that we don’t have to cut programs or raise revenue at the worst possible time. I commend Governor Wolf and the General Assembly for their continued commitment to shoring up the Rainy Day Fund and hope to see this continue far into the future.”
In the wake of the 2008 economic downturn, the Rainy Day Fund was used to compensate for a decrease in state revenue. To pay bills, the Commonwealth used more than $755 million from the fund, leaving just $60,000. Governor Wolf made it a priority to bring financial stability to the commonwealth after years of structural deficits so that state government is better prepared for the future.
“Our reliance on the Rainy Day Fund during the Great Recession is even more of a reason to build the fund as high as we can during our good years,” said Gov. Wolf. “Because the future always has unknowns, the best plan is preparedness. A sufficient Rainy Day Fund ensures Pennsylvanians won’t have to cope with devastating cuts to programs like education if we face other economic bumps in the road.
“This is the second of what I hope will become many significant contributions into our Rainy Day Fund.”