Accuracy of deficit estimates questioned [Rep-Am]

December 4, 2014


HARTFORD — Republican leaders are continuing to question the accuracy of budget estimates coming from the Malloy administration and the state comptroller’s office.

The $44.8 million deficit that is currently being reported does not reflect another $43.8 million in potential shortfalls in this year’s $19 billion budget, according to Republicans.

Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby, and Sen. Leonard A. Fasano, R-North Haven, renewed their request Wednesday for a meeting with Democratic leaders to hammer out a bipartisan plan for addressing the state’s deficit and financial planning.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo reported Monday that this year’s budget is running $44.8 million short, even after accounting for $54.7 million in planned budget cuts.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered the spending reductions after the governor’s budget office determined a $99.5 million gap had opened in the budget based on updated revenue and spending estimates.

Malloy ordered $47.8 million in reductions to executive branch agencies, and he recommended the legislature cut $865,000 from its budget and the judicial branch slash $6 million in spending.

The $44.8 million deficit represents the remainder after Malloy’s anticipated savings.

Republicans are contending this figure does not include potential shortfalls of $31.8 in retiree health benefits, $10.5 million in the Department of Correction and $1.5 million in employee health care.

They also continue to question if the state will collect $40 million in back taxes that Malloy and Democrats built into the budget.

Additionally, Klarides and Fasano, the incoming Republican leaders of the House and Senate, renewed their call for a special session on the budget shortfall.