AUGUSTA – A report from the Legislature’s Office of Policy and Fiscal Review puts Maine’s Budget Stabilization Fund at an all-time high of $895.9 million after the state “closed the books” on Fiscal Year 2022, which ended on June 30. The new balance reflects an increase of more than $400 million.
Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and Senator Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, Chair of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, released the following statements on this historic growth:
“For the past two years, my colleagues and I have worked hard to pass commonsense budgets that deliver for working families, communities, small businesses and retirees. At the same time, we continued to set money aside in the Rainy Day Fund for the future. As a result, Maine’s Rainy Day Fund is now at the highest it’s ever been in the state’s history — nearly $900 million. This historic number ensures that the Legislature will be able to keep its promises to Mainers regardless of what lies ahead. It’s also a testament to the extraordinary work of Sen. Cathy Breen, who has led the Legislature’s Appropriation and Financial Affairs Committee for the last four years.
“Making smart budgeting decisions isn’t always easy, but it is exactly what most Maine families do every month around their own kitchen tables. More importantly, it’s what people expect from their government. And we delivered.”
“In my six years on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, including the last four as Chair, I worked hard to negotiate and pass responsible state budgets that paid the bills, provided for underserved communities and put money in the bank. My intention was always to leave Augusta with the state in better financial shape than when I found it. With the Rainy Day Fund at a historic high, I feel confident that I am leaving the Legislature with the tools to respond to whatever the future has in store. My hope is that the individuals who take over as chairs of the budget committee next year will collaborate with their counterparts in the opposite party in the same respectful, open-minded way to ensure the state budget reflects the priorities of all Mainers.”
The Rainy Day Fund had a $493 million balance at the end of this year’s legislative session. When the 2022 fiscal year ended on June 30, the state had collected more than $500 million in surplus revenue or money over and above the funds appropriated in the budget. The surplus was applied to the cascade, or a group of prioritized accounts arranged by the Legislature, then 80 percent of the remaining surplus was added to the Rainy Day Fund and 20 percent was added to the Highway and Bridge Capital Fund.
President Jackson was elected Senate President in 2018 and subsequently named Sen. Breen as Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. At that time, the Rainy Day Fund had a balance of $297 million, according to the Compendium of State Fiscal Information.