Sen. Kane on Budget Red Ink: Put Greater Trust in Non-Partisan Staff

November 14, 2014

To promote better fiscal management in state government, Sen. Rob Kane today announced he will be proposing legislation in the 2015 legislative session which will require the state’s non-partisan budget staff to submit monthly reports.

Monthly reports from the state’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis are currently not required by Connecticut law.

“This new requirement will benefit our overburdened taxpayers,” said Sen. Kane, who serves as the Ranking Member of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee. “Let’s put an emphasis on what our non-partisan budget experts are seeing. Let’s get a clear picture of our state’s finances each month. Connecticut residents deserve the best analysis we can provide. I think this proposal will gain bipartisan support.”

Sen. Kane cited recent statements from the governor’s budget office and the State Comptroller which agreed that the state budget was in balance.

  • On Oct. 20, the state’s Office of Policy and Management Secretary wrote to the Comptroller to report a $0.3 million balance in the budget. OPM also reported that for the first time in nine years there were no signs of cost overruns in any state agencies.
  • On Nov. 3, the Comptroller wrote to Gov. Malloy, saying, “I am in general agreement with OPM’s projection.”

“Everything was reportedly A-ok last month,” Sen. Kane said. “We were told there were literally no trouble spots in the budget. That raised my eyebrows and raised serious questions. How could everything have been so perfect? Well, it turns out things weren’t perfect – we are running a deficit.”

Sen. Kane noted that on Oct. 31, non-partisan budget officials pointed to more than $80 million in potential budget deficiencies.

“As a state, we can do better than this,” Sen. Kane said. “Putting a greater emphasis on the advice from our non-partisan staff will help us to better prepare for both short- and long-term budget problems.”