Can Your State Survive the Cash Crunch?

Pew Charitable Trusts does a lot of research on state funding, including analysis of their rainy day funds.  Through the close of fiscal year 2019, which for most states occurred in June of last summer, collectively the states had their biggest rainy day fund balances since the late 1990s.

Now those funds will come in handy, but not all balances are created equal.

Overall, the states reached a new record total of $74.9 billion, and could fund their operations for a median of 27.9 days.  But those figures gloss over the big differences. 

Wyoming, with few people and some natural resources, could survive a whopping 397.9 days if forced to use its rainy day fund to cover expenses.  At the other end of the spectrum, Pennsylvania could make it just 0.3 days, or just under eight hours.

While the numbers in Wyoming look awesome, that’s just off of the state’s peak in funding, which was 400.5 days’ worth of cash.

As for the worst, it wasn’t Pennsylvania, but Illinois, which shows as having zero dollars in its rainy day fund. That’s not exactly true.  The state has the money to cover about two and half hours’ worth of expenses, but that’s sort of meaningless in a state that is behind on its bills by billions of dollars.

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  1. wade

    isn’t it amazing that the states with little to no rainy day funds have been and still are run by democrats!!!

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