Another $21.4 million has been deposited into the state's savings account, which just more than a year ago contained less than $3.
The money comes from state agencies reconciling their books at the end of the 2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30, and depositing the unspent funds into the state's general fund.
The additional deposit puts the surplus for the 2012 fiscal year at $328.3 million.
The Rainy Day Fund now totals $577.5 million.
In January 2010, the Rainy Day Fund had $596.6 million.
Most of it was used to deal with revenue shortfalls in the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years, one of the criteria for tapping into the fund.
By the start of the 2011 fiscal year on July 1, 2010, only about $2 remained in the Rainy Day Fund, which can be used only for emergency expenditures or for stabilizing the state's budget.
In January 2011, the fund had $2.03.
The state ended the 2011 fiscal year with a $249.2 million surplus, which was deposited last July in the Rainy Day Fund.
“This is good news and pushes us very close to the record $596.6 million in the Rainy Day Fund before it was drained to make ends meet during the recession,” said Preston Doerflinger, who serves as finance secretary on Gov. Mary Fallin's Cabinet. “As an optimist by nature, I am hopeful Oklahoma can continue the tremendous economic strides we have made the past two years. But history persuades me to expect that our rapid growth in revenue will level off at some point.”
The Rainy Day Fund, officially known as the Constitutional Reserve Fund, receives a deposit when state tax collections exceed 100 percent of the estimate of available revenue.
Before last year, collections didn't exceed estimates the previous three years.
General revenue collections for the 2012 fiscal year came in at $5.5 billion, which was $426.7 million, or 8.3 percent, above the previous year's collections. The total amount appropriated in the 2012 fiscal year was $6.5 billion; legislators appropriated $6.8 billion for the 2013 fiscal year.
The Oklahoma Constitution had limited the total amount in the Rainy Day Fund to 10 percent of the previous year's certified general revenue receipts. Voters in November 2010 approved State Question 757, which increases the cap to 15 percent.
Safeguards enacted by Oklahoma voters in 2004 helped ensure most of the Rainy Day Fund was available when needed.
Before then, the money in the fund — established in 1985 after the oil bust — went not only to solve state budget crises, but also for such things as golf courses and cloud seeding.
The 2004 law allows the Legislature and governor to spend only 25 percent of the money each year on projects labeled as emergencies and makes more money available for years when budget shortfalls occur.
The remaining 75 percent is for budget stabilization, which means shoring up the state budget.