Why it Matters:
A healthy rainy day savings account gives citizens and businesses confidence that the state has planned for unseen changes. The state's Rainy Day Fund (also known as the Budget Stabilization Fund) is designed to help the state weather challenging economic periods or unforeseen emergencies. During good economic times, money is put into the fund and, during bad times, money is withdrawn to fund government expenditures. Although the Rainy Day Fund balance was $1.2 billion at the end of fiscal year 2000, it was reduced to $2 million by fiscal year 2005 and only gained interest up until the end of fiscal year 2011. The fiscal year 2012 budget begins to rectify this situation. As a result, the Rainy Day Fund balance is projected to stand at $364.9 million at the end of fiscal year 2012.