Connecticut Budget Hole Grows Deeper – CT Falling Backward [NBC CT]

March 23, 2015

Article as it appeared on NBC Connecticut

Connecticut faces a significantly larger operating deficit than last month.

According to Benjamin Barnes, the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, current projections show the state in a $132.8 million hole at this point in the fiscal year, an increase of $71 million over the previous estimate.

Barnes handles budget matters for Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration. In a letter to Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Barnes said the change comes in light of a $63 million revenue revision and $8.6 million in updated deficits from state agencies.

He said fund transfers included in the governor’s budget plan would reduce the shortfall by $37.3 million.

“We continue to work to address the remaining deficit through administrative actions, including heightened scrutiny of position refills and contract requests in order to ensure that year-end espenditures are limited to those that are critical for state operations,” Barnes wrote.

State Senate minority leader Len Fasano called the increase “staggering and unacceptable.”

“Connecticut certainly isn’t springing forward when it comes to our state’s finances. We’re falling backward,” he said in a statement Friday evening. “Bottom line, the governor is not paying attention and he is refusing to work on the problems Connecticut is facing. This leaves us with very few options, none of which are in the best interest of the state.”