State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

After a lean decade, PA's putting money in its rainy day fund

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jul 13, 2018 4:05 AM

Governor Tom Wolf and Treasurer Joe Torsella announced Thursday that the state can afford to put money into its Rainy Day fund for the first time in a decade. (Katie Meyer/WITF)


(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's Rainy Day fund is now a little less barren.

On the heels of a financially fruitful fiscal year, Governor Tom Wolf has announced the first significant transfer into the fund since 2007.

The $22 million dollar transfer is modest as far as Rainy Day funds go. The administration estimates it would only keep the state going for about a quarter of a day.

According to Pew Charitable Trusts, the national average is 29 days.

Wolf said it's a starting point--and noted, it's better than the previous $485,000 balance.

"Anybody looking at this and saying we should be satisfied is wrong," he said. "This is a first step."

The commonwealth's lack of a substantial Rainy Day fund has played into recent credit downgrades by rating agencies, which can make it more expensive for the state to borrow money.

Wolf and Treasurer Joe Torsella said they aren't sure if this move alone will sway the agencies.

But Torsella noted, he's pretty sure it's not insignificant.

"I think it represents, it will represent to them real progress," he said.

Torsella also offered another piece of positive financial news. After years of taking out loans from the Treasury to cover short-term expenses early in the fiscal year, he's projecting the state's coffers will stay in the black.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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